Friday, June 27, 2008


Valentine – sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Valentine is in northern Nebraska, very close to the South Dakota border. With a population of 2,800, it is the “metropolis” of Cherry County. Cherry County, larger than the state of Connecticut, is home to only about 6,000 people, one person per square mile.

However, Valentine is the center of a diverse region: quiet lakes, grassy sandhills, wildlife refuges, cattle ranches, and one of the 10 best canoeing and floating rivers in the United States.

We were here just two years ago, stayed in the same RV park. That’s when we did our sightseeing.
We saw Smith Falls, one of more than 180 waterfalls along 20 miles of the Niobrara River, and at 70 feet, the tallest waterfall in Nebraska. The pool at the foot of the falls is inviting to young kids and old kids as well!

The widest waterfall in Nebraska is the Snake River Falls, just 23 miles southwest of Valentine. When the Snake River is full, over 230 cubic feet of water per second pour over the 54-foot wide ledge.

In town, the face of the First National Bank displays brick relief murals depicting the early history of Valentine and Cherry County. The top mural shows the longhorns that brought the cattle industry into the sandhills, Below, pioneers, agriculture, wildlife and the railroad are shown.

So what are we doing here? Catching up, cleaning, relaxing. We need to be still for a few days, as the price of gas is making our traveling very expensive. We haven’t paid $4 a gallon – yet – but at $3.85, and getting around 7 miles per gallon in the motorhome, we are paying 55 cents a mile just for gas! The optimist in us realizes that every mile we drive in the motorhome we are also towing the car, which isn’t using any gas at all. So with the two vehicles, we are actually getting 14 combined miles per gallon!

Our ideal is to travel an average of 150 miles or less each driving day, and to stay several days at a time when we stop. We try to use our membership parks and discount programs whenever possible, but to get from where we were in Arkansas to where we need to be in Montana and Idaho, we don’t see many membership parks, and the discount parks are kind of scarce too. So we do the best we can. We’re here in Valentine six nights, and we’ll stay a week in Sturgis, SD over July 4. As we get closer to Helena, MT, we have a five-night stay in a membership park in White Sulphur Springs.

In between, we’ll have to pay higher prices, but it’s all part of the adventure along … Our Life on Wheels.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jerry & Suzy,

    I left a comment earlier and somehow it didn't get posted. I told you you were in Mike's old "stomping grounds". He was raised in the sandhills of Nebraska. We are in Custer, Sd if you get through here on your way to Sturgis.
    Have a safe trip.

    Pat & Mike McFall


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