[I plan to update yesterday’s post after this one.] The winds were predicted to be southeast this morning which would be a slight tailwind for me, and then they were going to swing around to the west in the afternoon. I planned to be on the southwest or west side of the river to be as protected as possible from the wind in the afternoon.

I made good time in the morning with the river lined by hills on each side. The hills were greener on the west side, often so lush looking I almost expected to see a hobbit.

The sound of prairie chickens calling and dancing came over the water it’s a thrilling sound, a wild sound.

For a while I put up the sail and it was fun to glide effortlessly, but the wind was so light I decided to paddle.


Sail photo for Wyatt

Later I heard the alarm calls of some smaller birds. I was paddling close to shore and I tried to spot them. Prairie dogs! I didn’t recognize the sound. There were hundreds of them and their town went on for at least a mile, and more scattered smaller towns for another mile or so. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. later I looked at the Lewis and Clark journals and their campsite plotted for the night of September 12 and what is very interesting and exciting is I think they saw this very same prairie dog town it corresponds exactly. we Camped on the L. S. opsd. a Village of Barking Prarie Squriels

Almost exactly at 12 o’clock the wind changed, it was much more northwesterly than I had expected. my plan of using the river bank to protect me from the wind wasn’t working very well. For miles I had more or less of a headwind. nevertheless I was still making steady progress.

Finally around 5 PM the wind increased and it was getting ridiculous. I passed a nice cove and considered looking for a camp spot but decided to gut it out. Another hundred yards though I saw it was time to throw in the towel.

I turned around quickly in the waves were chasing me. was much harder to keep the boat straight and I was glad to duck into the cove. it was a nice camp spot on a shelf mostly protected from the wind buy some cedars and the hills around the cove.

I climbed 300 feet up a hill behind camp to try to find coverage send this out. Deer are grazing nearby. It’s beautiful wild looking country in all directions and except for the lake itself I’ll bet it looks much the same is looking to Lewis and Clark 200 years ago.

missouri River hills south dakota

Hill above camp

Clark: Septr. 11th Tuesday 1804…The man G Shannon, who left us with the horses above the Mahar Village, and beleving us to be ahead pushed on as long as he Could, joined us he Shot away what fiew Bullets he had with him, and in a plentiful) Countrey like to have Starvd. he was 12 days without provision, Subsisting on Grapes at the Same the Buffalow, would Come within 30 yards of his Camp, one of his horses gave out & he left him before his last belluts were Consumed…

Septr. 12th Wednesday 1804 a Dark Cloudy Day the wind hard from the N. W. we passed (1) a Island the middle of the river at the head of which we found great dificuelty in passing between the Sand bars the water Swift and Shallow, it took 3/ 4 of the day to make one mile, we Camped on the L. S. opsd. a Village of Barking Prarie Squriels I walked out in the morning and Saw Several Villages of those little animals, also a great number of Grous & 3 foxes, and observed Slate & Coal mixed, Some verry high hills on each Side of the river. rains a little all day.

Trip overview and route map with position updates: