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Month: April 2016 (Page 1 of 10)

Storm Day, Elk Point

I got my money’s worth by staying here today. It rained hard this morning with some very strong winds for a bit, I’d guess in the 50 mph range. It’s raining again this evening.


So for me it was a day of rest, laundry and planning. I figured out my resupply strategy for the first kayaking segment. Do I resupply in Springfield? Pickstown?  What are the trade offs of a heavier kayak vs the effort and hassles of securing my kayak and hiking for supplies?  I’ve decided to paddle all the way to Chamberlain before resupplying. I figure it will take close to two weeks.

I also planned for some place to camp tomorrow night. There’s not much except  fields and shelter breaks around farms. But I’ll find something. I expect to be to Yankton by Tuesday evening.  Colter

Clark: 22nd August Friday 1804. Set out early wind from the South at three miles we landed at a Bluff where the two men Sent with the horses were waiting with two Deer, by examonation of this (1) Bluff Contained alum, Copperas, Cobalt, Pyrites; a alum rock Soft & Sand Stone. Capt. Lewis in proveing the quality of those minerals was near poisoning himself by the fumes…Capt Lewis took a Dost of salts to work off the effects of the Arsenic, we Camped on the S. S. Sailed the greater part of this day with a hard wind from the S. E. great deel of Elk Sign…ordered a vote for a Serjeant to chuse one of three which may be the highest number the highest numbers are P. Gass had 19 Votes, Bratten & Gibson

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

South Dakota

I slept great. It should have been a recipe for condensation with the wet grass I camped on, but when I packed up my shelter was completely dry. 

It was a pleasant walk out of Sioux City with a nice bike trail along the river. 

Sioux City bike trail

Sioux City bike trail, Missouri River

Eventually the trail left the Missouri River and followed the Big Sioux River. A short walk across the bridge and I was in South Dakota! Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and now, South Dakota. It’s fun to walk across the map. 

Differences in state laws are often reflected in businesses you see on both sides of the border. On the South Dakota side there were a half a dozen small casinos. But soon it looked much like the farmlands of Nebraska and Iowa. 

In a little town I stopped at a bar/restaurant for lunch. Right now it was just a bar with a half dozen patrons. Conversation stopped and every person watched me walk in with my pack. A person! Walking! With a pack!  From out of town!  

“What are you GPS-ing?” one fellow asked.  He had thought the hiking pole I was carrying on my pack was a GPS antenna.

Soon it was the usual exchange with most of the usual questions as I ate my pizza. They were a friendly bunch. 

I walked a half a block and noticed an old timey looking barbershop across the street, the barber reading a newspaper. Haircut time!

It was an old looking building with a very battered door, a rundown appearance inside and a strong musty odor. The barber, who had some kind of eyepatch, hardly said a word, as a matter fact I wasn’t sure if he even spoke English.  I said that I basically wanted a buzz cut and he went to work. 

“It sure has been rainy, hasn’t it?” I said. his response was unintelligible. It was a sad, rundown little barbershop. I glanced at the narrow door that undoubtedly lead to where the barber lived upstairs. The two barber chairs were the only elegant items in the shop. I would bet they were at least 100 years old, and I would bet that they had sat in their current positions in this very shop that whole time. 

He was done in no time. With my hair there’s no reason to snip and fuss around and waste time like some barbers seem to do. 

“How much?” I asked when he was done. I was surprised when he said “Five dollars.” I was also surprised that his eyepatch had disappeared. 

If anyone needed a tip it was this guy and this business, so I handed him an extra $5 which is still a bargain. 

“Nope, only $5,” he said, handing one bill back. 

The whole thing seemed like it should be part of a movie where I later find out that the door to the barbershop was a portal back to 1960. 

It was cloudy and chilly all day, and all day I wore my jacket and most of the day I wore my balaklava as well, walking across flat farmland, covered with cornfields most of which had standing water on them to some degree. 

A big rain and winds to 40 mph are predicted for tomorrow. I’m holed up in a nice inexpensive little hotel in Elk Point, so I may take another day off tomorrow. Colter

21st August Tuesday 1804

We Set out verry early this morning and proceeded on under a gentle Breeze from the S. E. passed willow creek Small on the S. S. below a Bluff of about 170 feet high and one ½ mes. above Floyds river at 1 ½ miles higher & above the Bluff passed the Soues River S. S. this River is about the Size of Grand river and as Mr. Durrien our Soues intptr. says “navagable to the falls 70 or 80 Leagues and above these falls Still further, those falls are 200 feet or there abouts & has two princapal pitches, and heads with the St. peters passing the head of the Demoien, on the right below the falls a Creek Coms in which passed thro Clifts of red rock which the Indians make pipes of, and when the different nations Meet at [X: a Sort of asylum for all nations, no fightg there]… Clark

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

Sergeant Floyd

It was chilly with a heavy mist and the wind in my face as I headed north this morning.  That combination made this the chilliest morning of the whole hike.  Starting out with a hot cup of coffee in my hand helped. 
The radio said that yesterday had been a record rain for that date in Sioux City, so it was a good day to be in a hotel. Because it was so cold today  was encouraged to just keep walking and walking and walking. 

I took a single break in the first 4 1/2 hours. My greatest weakness is probably my hands stiffening when they’re wet and chilled. I could barely operate the zipper of my rain jacket. With minimal dexterity my break snack consisting of three tortillas and nearly a half cup peanut butter on them. 

A nice lady stopped and asked if I wanted a ride, feeling sorry for me walking in the rain. Then a sheriff’s car started pulling over and I thought “oh boy, here we go.” But nope, he just wanted to know if I was OK. When he heard that I was hiking the Lewis and Clark Trail he was very interested in the adventure, asking me questions about my plans, a big smile on his face the whole time. 

At 10:30 I’d come about 14 miles already and spotted a Dairy Queen. I elected to take an early lunch, get off my feet, and out of the cold wind and mist. 

I could see Sergeant Floyd’s memorial obelisk for many miles. When I got there I had the whole memorial to myself. It’s a nice setting, on it’s green hill looking over the river and into Nebraska. And for me this was one of the most historical places I’ve seen so far. Here’s where  a member of the expedition lies. There were some nice interpretive signs, too. 

Sergeant Floyd Memorial

Sergeant Floyd Memorial

I’d nearly forgotten about the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. I looked it up and planned a route which took me through some construction of both the bike path and roads, but also along some beautiful riverside. I was looking at this especially nice large building complex when I decided to walk over there to see if it might be the visitor center, and by golly it was. There was a place mark on my map a mile away which I mistakenly thought was the visitor’s center.

There were some wonderful dioramas and displays of various kinds, including some animated figures of Jefferson, Lewis and Clark that were amazingly life like. There were also some outstanding photographs of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

The ladies working here were super nice and offered to let me camp here at the visitor center, including making sure the police would know I am here. 

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Sioux City

Burial of Sgt. Floyd, Visitors Center

Clark, 20th August Monday…I am Dull & heavy been up the greater Part of last night with Serjt. Floyd, who is as bad as he can be to live…we Came to make a warm bath for Sergt. Floyd hopeing it would brace him a little, before we could get him in to this bath he expired, with a great deel of composure, haveing Said to me before his death that he was going away and wished me to write a letter—we Buried him to the top of a high round hill over looking the river & Countrey for a great distance Situated just below a Small river without a name to which we name & call Floyds river, the Bluffs Sergts. Floyds Bluff-we buried him with all the honors of War, and fixed a Ceeder post at his head with his name title & Day of the month and year Capt Lewis read the funeral Service over him after paying everry respect to the Body of this desceased man (who had at All times given us proofs of his impatiality Sincurity to ourselves and good will to Serve his Countrey) we returned to the Boat & proceeded to the Mouth of the little river 30 yd. wide & Camped a butifull evening

Visitors Center Camp

Visitors Center Camp

I had selected a spot to set up when I spotted a tiny little round ball of fur which was a baby cottontail. I didn’t want to cause him problems so I picked another good spot.  This evening I’m reading some L&C books that the fine ladies loaned me.


Aug. 16th 1804…Capt Lewis with men went out to the Creek & Pond & Caught about 800 fine fish with a Bush Drag of the following kind i.e. 79 Pike, 8 Salmon, 1 Rock, 1 flat Back, 127 Buffalow & readHorse, 4 Bass & 490 Cat, with many Small & large Silver fish,—I had a mast made & fixed to day


18th August…the Party with the Indians arrivd. we meet them under a Shade near the Boat and after a Short talk we gave them Provisions to eat & proceeded to the trail of Reed, he Confessed that he “Deserted & Stold a public Rifle Shot-pouch Powder & Bals” and requested we would be as favourable with him as we Could consistantly with our Oathes-which we were and only Sentenced him to run the Gantlet four times through the Party & that each man with 9 Swichies Should punish him and for him not to be considered in future as one of the Party…Sergt. Floyd was taken violently bad with the Beliose Cholick and is dangerously ill we attempt in Vain to releive him, I am much concerned for his Situation-we could get nothing to Stay on his Stomach a moment nature appear exosting fast in him every man is attentive to him york prlly

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

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