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Month: April 2016 (Page 2 of 10)

Resting on a storm day

Progress Map

Progress Map

Showers early, becoming a steady rain for the afternoon. Windy. Thunder possible. High 54F. Winds E at 25 to 35 mph.  

That was today’s weather report. It was pouring rain outside and the wind was slamming rain into the window. At breakfast I checked other weather websites. It is really easy to think of excuses to take days off, but I’ve only had one full day off in over a month. This would be a good day for another. 

With most of my chores done yesterday evening, I dedicated the day to goofing off, eating, channel surfing and researching the route ahead, including my route to visit the Sergeant Floyd monument tomorrow, and a place to camp later, without having to over 25 miles or so. 

I also went on Facebook to the Missouri River Paddlers group to ask about the best route through the braided River above Lewis and Clark Lake, likely the most confusing part of the river. Several people were kind enough to respond. 

The storm let up this afternoon, but it’s raining and thundering again this evening. I’m planning an early start tomorrow.  Colter

9th Augt Thursday 1804…Musquetors worse this evening than ever I have Seen them. Clark 
August 11th Satturday 1804 about day this morning a hard wind from the N. W. followed by rain, we landed at the foot of the hill on which Black Bird The late King of the mahar who Died 4 years ago & 400 of his nation with the Small pox was buried (1) and went up and fixed a white flag bound with Blue white & read on the Grave which was about 12 foot Base & circueller, on the top of a Penical about 300 foot above the water of the river, from the top of this hill may be Seen the bends or meanderings of the river for 60 or 70 miles round… Clark

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

Northbound Across Iowa

roadside break

roadside break

It was dewy in my camp near the pond. When I started walking to the main road a cottontail ran ahead of me, trapped between the pond on one side and a flooded ditch on the other. He stopped and looked at me, deciding I wasn’t a threat. He dashed right by me, white tail bouncing, heading for the brush.

Onawa had an open cafe. I asked for a table with an electrical outlet so I could do some charging. The waitress asked where I was walking and was very interested with lots of questions. I could hear her telling other people as she made the rounds. Many people wished me well as I left.

There are occasionally abandoned farmsteads along the way.  I have been puzzling about low concrete “bunkers.”  Root cellars? Or more likely tornado shelters in a place where basements would flood?

The gas station in Whiting had BBQ sandwiches. I’m in!  The guy at the counter said they’d recently gotten a rain of 2″ in 20 minutes. That sounded familiar. He also confirmed my tornado shelter theory.

The road to Sloan was straight as an arrow. I could see a giant grain elevator directly ahead for at least 5 miles.

A road grader had pulled sod up onto the shoulder so I was walking a spongy obstacle coarse whenever there was an oncoming car.

I was going to end up near Sloan at the end of my day, with a bad storm predicted. Two motels were full, but I found one with a room.

I grabbed a sub sandwich then headed to my room for a good cleanup, including laundry. The predicted storm arrived hit hard. Nice to be under a roof! Colter

Trip overview and route map with position updates:


August 3rd, Friday 1804 …made up a Small preasent for those people in perpotion to their Consiqunce. also a package with a meadile to accompany a Speech for the Grand Chief after Brackfast we Collected those Indians under an orning of our Main Sail, in presence of our Party paraded. Delivered a long Speech to them…


7th August Tuesday 1804 …at 1 oClock dispatched George Drewyer, R. Fields, Wm. Bratten. Wm. Labieche back after the Deserter reid with order if he did not give up Peaceibly to put him to Death


August 8th 1804…I saw a great number of feathers floating down the river those feathers had a very extraordinary appearance as they appeared in such quantities as to cover pretty generally sixty or seventy yards of the breadth of the river. for three miles after I saw those feathers continuing to run in that manner, we did not percieve from whence they came, at length we were surprised by the appearance of a flock of Pillican at rest on a large sand bar…The beak is a whiteish yellow the under part connected to a bladder like pouch…I measured this pouch and found it’s contents 5 gallons of water…

32 Mile Day, One Month On the Trail

There must’ve been a half-dozen woodticks on my shelter when I woke up this morning. Happily, I still haven’t seen a mosquito though.

The route turned away from the Loess Hills, heading for Mondamin. It was a town that has seen better days with most of its businesses closed. I pondered the economic circumstances that caused its demise and finally realized it is likely because it’s in the flood plain. 

Luckily there was a convenience store, so I bought one of their burgers, one hotdog, and a cup of very poor and weak coffee. I ate as I charged my electronics. As usual, I was the object of greatest attention to comers and goers.

I was still hungry so I went back in and looked over the ice cream selection: a drumstick, not enough; half-gallon of ice cream, too much; I ended up buying a box of six chocolate-covered ice cream bars and sat outside and ate them one by one. A definite advantage to long-distance hiking. It’s almost impossible to eat enough.
It was a nice day so I decided to try to do a 30-miler. That meant hiking late. 

This was the flattest land I’ve walked across, with standing water in some places. I crossed two rivers channelized into canals, one river the color of chocolate milk, full of rich topsoil. 

There were pheasants, blue-winged teal and ladybugs. A big old hound dog followed me down the road, baying. A helmet-less motorcycle came roaring down the road, not letting up on speed. He ended up hitting the brakes, screeching rubber to avoid the dog.  It made me cringe for both of them. 

At 30 miles my feet ached but otherwise I was doing fine. I kept an eye out for campsites and finally found one near this pond on a side road, for a 32 mile day. Colter

Sunset at camp

Sunset at camp

July the 30th Monday

Capt. Lewis and my Self walked in the Prarie on the top of the Bluff and observed the most butifull prospects imagionable, this Prarie is Covered with grass about 10 or 12 Inch high, (Land rich) rises about 1/ 2 a mile back Something higher and is a Plain as fur as Can be Seen, under those high Lands next the river is butifull Bottom interspersed with Groves of timber, the River may be Seen for a great Distance…Joseph Fields Killed and brought in an Anamale Called by the French Brarow, and by the Ponies Cho car tooch this Anamale Burrows in the Ground and feeds on Flesh, (Prarie Dogs), Bugs, & vigatables—” His Shape & Size is like that of a Beaver, his head mouth &c. is like a Dogs with Short Ears, his Tail and Hair like that of a Ground Hog, and longer, and lighter. his Interals like the interals of a Hog,” his Skin thick and loose, his Belly is White and the Hair Short—a white Streek from his nose to his Sholders. The toe nails of his fore feet is one Inch & 3/ 4 long, & feet large…
August the 1st 1804…This being my birth
day I order’d a Saddle of fat Vennison, an Elk fleece & a Bevertail to be cooked and a Desert of Cheries, Plumbs, Raspberries Currents and grapes of a Supr. quallity…
August 2nd 1804…The Two men Drewyer & Colter returned with the horses loaded with Elk, those horses they found about 12 miles in a Southerly Derection from Camp…at Sunset 6 chiefs and their warries of the Ottos, and Missoures, with a french man by the name of Far fonge, we Shook hands and gave them Some Tobacco & Provisions, they Sent us Water Millions

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

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