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Day: June 26, 2016

Fort Peck Marina PortageĀ 

June 26, Day 95

I ate a fine breakfast and packed up for the 4 1/2 mile portage to the Fort Peck Marina. It had been a great stay at the old Hotel and a good rest from the hard paddling. I was glad to be off the water during these windy days. 

The portage was a piece of cake on the paved roads, with the cart. These Montanans approved of this kind of mission judging by the friendliness, lots of waves and thumbs up. Two or three people stopped to ask if I wanted a hand. 

Along the way there was a boat inspection station where they checked for invasive species. It was run by two friendly young people, interested in my adventure. 

The Marina had my food packages that my mother had shipped. They were sitting by the door ready to go. Thank you Mom and Fort Peck Marina!  Well done. 

I bought a case of bottled water, not for the water but because I needed the bottles to replace my leaking water jugs. The Marina let me camp anywhere I wanted for $5. I ate a couple of last hot meals from the bar menu before heading out to the wilds. 


A rainstorm swept through this evening, leaving a rainbow behind. 

Only moderate side winds are predicted for tomorrow so I hope to put in some good miles. This is the last giant reservoir and with luck I will paddle much of it in the next three or four days. 

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

Fort Peck

June 25, Day 94
It was a storm day and a rest day. Perfect timing. 
The first pleasant surprise was that the hotel was serving breakfast. My order was taken by a different Kazahk lady. She had only recently arrived and her English was already remarkable. I enjoyed coffee and pancakes, sausage and OJ. 

I really like this old hotel with its shady cottonwoods outside, old photos and posters and antlers on the walls. 

Reception, Fort Peck Hotel

I waited for the rain to pass a bit before walking to the Fort Peck Interpretive Center, maybe two miles away. It was a very windy walk. The museum had interesting fish tanks, dinosaur displays, and history of the construction of the dam, an enormous task. Over 60 people died in the years of its construction. 

Fort Peck Interpretive Center

When I wanted to join the tour of the dam  power generators they had to work out at a plan for me, on foot. They warned me it was a long walk over there (about 1/4 mile) but I told them I could handle it. 

It was an interesting tour. These giant Missouri dams and reservoirs have changed the river to the detriment of the natural river ecosystem and landscape, but they have created new ecosystems and produce vast amounts of clean power and some flood control. The world is complicated and there are rarely black and white answers.

Back at the hotel I read and ate another great pizza and had a long nap. In the evening I headed down for a good meal and had a long chat with my favorite Kazahk lady. 

On a long trip like this it’s important to keep an eye on the calendar. My goal is to complete the trail by mid-October, hopefully in six months, which would be September 24. As of three months I’ve done 1,772 miles. That works out to a little over 19 miles a day including wind days, portages, and rest days. 

My whole route is about 3323 miles. That means I will have to do about 16 miles a day to finish in six months. It is good to have some “miles in the bank,”  to be ahead of schedule to allow for unexpected delays, minor injuries etc. I’ve probably got the toughest and the easiest paddling ahead of me, and the 500 mile hike over the Rockies. Things look good right now. It’s been a big adventure. Colter

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

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