The Sandhills Motel
507 SW 1st St., Mullen, NE 69152
In addition to providing lodging, the Sandhills Motel is headquarters for floating the Dismal River and Middle Loup River. The Dismal is more optimistic than it sounds. This spring-fed river is a narrow stream with twists, turns and submerged logs, small waterfalls, white water and a big spring. Locals Mitch and Patty Glidden caution that the Dismal is a river for experienced kayakers 13 years of age and older. The Middle Loup is a wider stream providing a more leisurely float.
The Sandhills Motel rent canoes and kayaks for floats on the Dismal River. Additional craft floated on the Middle Loup River include inner tubes and livestock tanks. The tanks aren’t for watering your horse. Tanking is a safe and relaxing way to float downstream while Mother Nature does all the work.
In March and April, the Sandhills Motel becomes birdwatching central with guided excursions to observe the spring mating rituals of greater prairie chickens and sharp-tail grouse. Visitors load up in yellow shuttle buses for the guided tours. The birds’ antics resemble dancing as the males of the species joust for dominance and, ultimately, mating rights.