Tag Archives: Missouiri Valley River

Enjoying Nature in Siouxland, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

17 Jan

Last fall while heading to southern Siouxland I stopped in at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge which actually straddles two states, Iowa and Nebraska, and did a short hike in nice weather, but limited area because of the migratory waterfowl movement in preparation for winter. It’s a nice place to spend a day, or even half a day. it also houses historical information about river movement during the early territorial times when people and goods moved upriver to the outer reaches of the early westward expansion of the U.S.

A raptor keeping watch for lunch along an inlet from the Missouri River at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A trail map of the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

There are a few exhibits within the learning or welcome center with staff there to assist one. And local area schools visit to learn more about their area and local history and the early pioneers.

A local school group visits the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge and play games that relate to animals found near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Exhibits abound at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge welcome center near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

But the attraction really is watching migratory birds that pass through, resting on their yearly trips and exploring the area through various trails that are easily accessible.

A walking trail makes its way through the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Trails traverse wooded areas at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A view out of a window at the welcome center at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge show resting geese near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

It’s a good place to get away from the stresses of the world, commune with nature as it were and just enjoy some peace and quiet.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Learning History in Siouxland, about The Bertrand, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

20 Dec

This fall I made my first visit to the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Siouxland near Missouri Valley which actually straddles two states, Iowa and Nebraska, on either side of the Missouri River.

Besides information and space dedicated to wildlife and migrating birds, the refuge also had an exhibit about an excavated sternwheeler boat, The Bertrand.

Information about the steamboat Bertrand and its history and recovery at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A replica of the steamboat Bertrand on display with recovered artifacts at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

According to information on site The Bertrand was just an ordinary boat hauling supplies northward up the Missouri River from St. Louis to the Montana territory during the mid-1860’s, got stuck in the river and sank. No one was killed. And many boats wrecked in the river during the 1800’s as they carried supplies north into new territory. Much later in the 1980’s two Nebraskans decided to find the ship and excavate items on board at the time of the ship’s sinking, which was basically everyday items people in the 1800’s were using as they went about their everyday chores.

Recovered artifacts from the steamboat Bertrand which sank in the Missouri River in the 1800’s at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Recovered artifacts from the steamboat Bertrand, a supply boat with passengers, which sank in the Missouri River in the 1800’s at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

It’s a fascinating exhibit and gives a really good look into life at that point in history. I always find int refreshing when I can learn something new about an area I am living in or near, and understand more about what earlier settlers’ lives entailed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

%d bloggers like this: