In the Wild with Greg Wagner

Katie’s Beyond B.O.W. Adventure by Greg Wagner

Guest blogger Katie Stacey here again to talk about last weekend’s Beyond Becoming an Outdoors-Woman kayak adventure based at Niobrara State Park and on the Upper Missouri River. 

I drove from my home in Bellevue to the park on Thursday and arrived a little after noon. Already I wasn’t sure how the weekend would go. I had been detoured off Highway 12 because there was water over the road just east of Niobrara. Along the detour I saw both Bazile and Verdigre creeks rushing along over their banks. The lovely Niobrara was the color of chocolate milk and looked like it had developed a taste for human flesh. 

Photo courtesy of Dina Barta

I learned there had been a severe storm in the night, and around seven inches of rain had fallen upstream from where we wanted to launch. Still, we had a job to do. We loaded up the kayaks and drove around the area. There was water everywhere and we could see flattened grass where it had been even higher. The boat ramps on the Missouri were not accessible, and I wasn’t pitting my limited kayak skills against the Niobrara’s current mood. 

There would be no kayaking for our B.O.W. participants on Friday. Instead, we enjoyed a day at the park. Horseback riding, hiking, swiming or just kicking back at camp. We also loaded all who wanted to go into vans and visited Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park. Even though I’m a Nebraska native, I had never yet been. We are incredibly lucky to have such a site in our state. It’s incredible to think, the glaciers that would have scoured it from the plains came to a halt only eight miles away. Eight miles! A miniscule distance for a glacier and all the knowledge gained from Ashfalls would never have been. 

Inside the Hubbard Rhino Barn at Ashfall Fossil Beds SHP

I bet you’ll never guess what happend while the group was finishing up with dinner in town that night. 

Photo Courtesy of Dina Barta

Oh yeah, more rain. But, it was a quick storm and the earlier flooding had all day to receed. We were still able to kayak the Missouri River the next morning.
We coudn’t have asked for a better day. The river rolled smoothly along as the group paddled and played on the strech from Sunshine Bottoms to the Verdel boat ramp. We had water fights and races. Nobody tipped over and fell in the river, although most of us were wet enough to have done as much.
In spite of the weather’s initial disagreeableness, I think of the weekend as a great success. Part of being outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen is understanding that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature’s whims. We have to be flexible with our plans and our patience will be rewarded with adventures we will remember all our lives.
For information on upcoming B.O.W. and Beyond B.O.W. adventures check out the Game and Parks Commission’s page at :
See you out there! – –  Katie Stacey

1 Comment so far
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Outstanding photo of the storm rolling in! Way to go Dina! That view from Niobrara State Park is spectacular and those storm clouds make it even more so!

Daryl B.

Comment by whitetips

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