Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Float Down the Niobrara

by Jane Griffin, The Groundwater Foundation

Hopefully many of you read the most recent post “Beating the Heat in Water”; it gives some great suggestions for summer activities – many that are made possible by groundwater!

I personally had the opportunity to do one of the suggested activities: float down the Niobrara River.

In addition to being a beautiful trip, it was relaxing and inspiring.  I highly recommend the trip to an amazing portion of the state of Nebraska.  In addition to enjoying the float down the river the area is full of places to discover.  One of the most remarkable is Smith Falls, but just as inspirational is the opportunity to enjoy the diverse nature and the different sounds and scents.  

Constantly I was reminded of what is so important to creating this amazing area – groundwater.  You don’t have to look very hard and you find evidence of its presence.  For instance, from this photo taken from the Cowboy Trail southeast of Valentine, you can see the beautiful bend in the Niobrara River.  You might think, that is nice but it is not groundwater.  Well, in fact 80% of the streamflow of the Niobrara comes from groundwater, through the riverbed! 

Share an experience you have had on the Niobrara – or elsewhere in water!

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