Along the meandering way, we came across one of those little “Scenic Turnout” signs, onto a little gravel road. About a hundred yards off the highway, we came to a bridge over a fast-flowing stream, which a small green sign identified as the Dismal River.
The Dismal River – how wrong can a name get? It’s a gorgeous, clean stream, wide enough for kayaks and fly fishing, narrow enough for a wooden bridge. Sunflowers and watercress thickly line both banks, occasionally interrupted by little paths with deer tracks. The river is created by seepage from the immense Ogallala Aquifer. It is all sandy bottom, no rocks, no whitecaps, but flows so fast we could hearing it rushing between its banks.
Couldn’t find the origin of the name, but dismal it’s not. It’s one of those amazing surprises you hope for when passing through fly-over America.