One of the great things about traveling to Cherry County in the fall was to see the abundance of wildlife. A prime place for this is the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, above, just a few miles east of Valentine. The refuge encompasses the grounds of the old Fort Niobrara, as well as nearby sand hills and Niobrara River bottom.
The refuge has a very nice overlook that's worth a visit, although the first time I tried to go there my way was blocked by this guy:
He refused to move out of the road, and I saw no way to make him. My only option was to back up to a place where I could turn around, and come back another time, which was what I did.
The refuge is also home to large communities of Priarie Dogs, who do get out of the way of your car. They are, as you can see below, both cute and photogenic.
There was plenty of wildlife outside of the refuge as well. I saw, but didn't get photos of, Mule Deer and various game birds. Surprisingly, I saw a number of flocks of wild turkeys by the side of the road. Although they moved away from me when I stopped to get a photo, they weren't as panicked by humans as I had been told they would be.
If you like wide open spaces and unspoiled countryside, Cherry County Nebraska is well worth a visit. There are a number of good hotels, along with other services, in the county seat Valentine. This was my second visit to the county and I really enjoyed myself.