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Tag: Fort Peck

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:

Three Months on the Lewis and Clark Trail 

June 24, Day 93, Mile 1772

Deer snorted and stomped outside my tent, like many prior nights. There was a little thunder and lightning, wind and rain, but none of it amounted to much, and my tent and even my shoes were dry this morning.

I’ve been having a series of close calls with losing gear. Yesterday, just before shoving off, I happened to notice that my tent pole was missing. Despite having checked before I left my campsite I found it leaning in the shade of the cottonwood tree, a black pole in the black shade.

This morning I happened to notice that my green stuff sack was missing. I checked my campsite once again, it wasn’t there. I went through the boat once more and it wasn’t there either. On a third check of my campsite I found it in the tall grass, right where I had been looking. Grass green in green grass.

Things like poles and stuff sacks and knives should be of some bright color: orange, blue, red, something like that. Earth tones are far too easy to lose, and with every day being a new camp and going back to retrieve a lost item impractical, keeping track of things is super important. Not putting items down in tall grass might also be smart.

My goal today was Fort Peck. What wind I had was today a real help.  There were stretches where I flew up the river, and other stretches where the current was so fierce it was extremely tough going. I had to get out and pull the kayak in places. The water coming out from deep in the reservoir was icy cold.

Steamboat Wreck?

When I got to the landing I hid the boat and started walking to the Missouri River Outpost to get something to eat. Unfortunately after hiking around for a while I called and found out it no longer exists.

There was a little kid playing near my kayak when I got back. I asked him his name and he said it was Samuel Birdtail. He was from Wolf Point. Samuel was fascinated with my kayak and my trip. When I put the cart on he inspected things and asked if the stern of the kayak wouldn’t drag when I lifted up the bow. I thought that was mighty sharp of a seven-year-old to think of that immediately when I hadn’t myself. He went up and got his mom and grandpa to introduce them to me.

The cart worked really well again. Fort Peck struck me as something of a shady oasis. Shady in the good sense. There was a beautiful old Corps of Engineers building built back in the 30s. The Fort Peck Hotel was also built during that era and I had decided to spend two nights there.

I really like the vibe of this place. People who like the newest and the best might not care for it, but people like the feel of the grandeur of older days likely would.

As I ate a large pizza I watched the news about the Brexit. The pizza was great. The news, not so much.

Fort Peck Hotel

A big storm blew through this evening, with big wind and hail. I met a beautiful, especially sweet young lady from Kazakhstan here. Kind of wish I was 20 years younger. Colter
Trip overview and route map with position updates:

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