May 24, Day 62

When it was starting get light, while I was still in my tent, I heard swishing in the grass; I looked out to see two whitetail deer. One snorted and they ran. 

As I loaded the boat I noticed a band of buffalo grazing, a fine way to start the day on the Lewis and Clark Trail. 

The goal today was Mobridge. There I’d resupply with enough groceries to get me to Bismarck. When backpacking food-day estimates are pretty easy, miles/20=days will be close. There are so many more variables paddling this route: portages, wind, current. 

Two more goals in town would be silicone sealant for my tent seams and at least one hot meal. 

I was slower than normal packing, the real reason is I was still a little tuckered from yesterday. But when I was leaving it was 6:30. 6:30?  Mountain Time!

Strategizing wind direction vs lake orientation is a big deal. I wanted to cross before the wind came up. The calm dissolved as I crossed. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so slow packing!  As the wind picked up and the waves got higher I had to square the boat more into the wind, which increased the distance I had to paddle to the next shore. I’d put on the spray skirt though to keep the water out so it was no big deal. 

I paddled against a headwind all day, from minor to significant. Otherwise it was a sunny, beautiful day. 

The hardware store, the source of my seam sealer, closed at 7 Central Time. I’d considered staying at Indian Creek campground but that was three miles out of town. I better paddle straight to town. 

Allen Palmer had told me to paddle until I saw Burger King. That was good advice. I landed and followed the main road to the hardware store. The nice ladies there said I could fill up my water bottles with the garden hose outside. When I tried to detach the hose instead I found it had been tightened with a wrench and I didn’t want to ask to borrow one. 

Across the street was the grocery store, handy! I packed my haul back to the boat, then headed over to Burger King, again taking my small valuables with me. I talked to a young rancher as I feasted. He was trying to corral a passle of young boys. He was interested in my trip and said a thunderstorm was on the way. At that I filled my water bottles and skedaddled. 

I put up my tent and did a fast but hopefully decent job of seam sealing. By the time the wind hit I was set. 

It was close to midnight when I heard the waves rolling ashore. It had been raining for hours with flickers of lightning. My headlamp beam showed the seam sealing was a success!  Let’s see, the boat is plenty far up the shore? No doubt. Nothing can blow away?  Maybe I should secure my trash bag better. And my paddle? I DID carry that up, right? 

I put on my rain gear. I didn’t see my paddle. Through the dark and wind and rain I walked down and found my paddle just above the highest wave. Big mistake. Got in a hurry heading to the store before it closed. When I got back in bed it was nice to know everything was secure. Colter

Clark: 6th of October Satturday 1804 Cold Wind from the N. Saw many large round Stones near the middle of the River passed an old Ricara village of 80 Lodges Picketed in those lodges in nearly an octagon form, 20 to 60 feet Diameter Specious Covered with earth and as Close as they Can Stand, a number of Skin Canoes in the huts, we found Squashes of 3 different Kinds growing in the Village Shields Killed an Elk Close by-The Magpy is common here…

Clark: 7th of October…frost last night… Saw the tracks of white bear, verry large, also a old Ricara village partly burnt, fortified about 60 Lodges built in the Same form of those passed yesterday, many Canoes & Baskets about the huts—about 10 oClock we Saw 2 Indians on the S. S. they asked for Something to eat & told us they were Tetons of the band we left below on ther way to the Ricaras we gave them meat & wind hard from the South, passed a large open Island covered with grass and wild rye, I walked on the Isd & 4 men they Killed a Braroe & a Black tale Doe with a black breast, the largest Deer I ever saw, the great numbers of Grous on it, we call it Grous Island…

Trip overview and route map with position updates: