Lewis and Clarke Expedition Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Today’s ride was from Pierre, South Dakota to Bismark, North Dakota. We are currently at N46º 49.787′ W100º 46.102′.

Route map for today.

The ride today was a short 250 or so miles through very scenic parts of South Dakota. At one point in the ride we were on a road that straddled both states and I was able to put one foot in each state.

The wind on the ride today was very strong. I estimated the wind to be sustained at 48 mph from the south. When riding north it was wonderful as there was very little resistance going forward. But, boy, when we were going either due east or west it was a heck of a ride. The wind would come up under my helmet and literally lift it off my head about one half inch. Dad and Chuck have larger machines but said they were having trouble with the wind too.

Like so many other days for me recently the weather was a bit uncooperative. As you can see from this doppler radar summary we had to ride through an area of disturbed air.

Weather today

I didn’t check the frontal activity yesterday but I suspect that this was the tip of a cold front. The air is pretty dry where we are riding so the cloud tops are high and the rain streaks very long. The wind was more of a problem than the rain, however. And the temperatures remained in the mid-70’s all day long.

Highs for today

We are following a guide book that someone wrote indicating some of the more prominent trail features and things to see along the way. One of those things was the council site where Lewis and Clark met the Sioux Indians. Try as we may, we never did find the site and saying we were lost is a little strong but we eventually had to cut bait and get moving. Dad was the tour guide and using the maps he had we simply could not find it. Lots of casinos and golf courses though.

The only traffic jam in South Dakota, and we found it.

Traffic Jam … go figure …

It wasn’t long and we were able to get off our bikes and take a break. I also picked up some wheat growing wild on the side of the road. I’ll be sending that specimen home for closer examination along with some type of plant that has a purple flower and grows in these fields giving a very sweet smell as you ride through the landscape.

We ate lunch at a Pizza Hut where the buffet was $4.50 per person. I had a glass of ice tea which was a $1.50 more. Even dinner was about $15.00. Now that we are off the beaten path we’re spending about $20 a day on food and snacks and I’m at about $15 for fuel and between $30 and $40 for hotels sharing a room.

We stopped in Mobridge to visit the monuments to Sacajawea and Sitting Bull. Strange thing about Sacajawea is that I think the locals are spelling her name differently than the text books I’ve been reading. I need to check that out for sure tomorrow.

Monument to Sakakawea
Monument to Sitting Bull

For sure, Lewis would not recognize this place any longer. Not for the buildings so much but for the fact that the Missouri river is dammed in so many places it creates huge reservoirs as you can see here in the landscape near Mobridge, South Dakota.

Landscape overlooking Mobridge, South Dakota

Riding through the country side there are miles and miles of crops. Of particular interest and beauty are the “Amber waves of grain”. The wheat crops stretch for miles at a time and with all the wind we had today waive to create a wonderful view for those passing through.

Amber waves of grain …

By estimating on the maps I have it appears we are now 1/2 of the way across the Lewis and Clark trail headed on our way to Cape Disappointment, Oregon. Tomorrow’s ride appears it will be through some disturbed weather again.

Weather for 2004/08/06

Our ride will take us from Bismark, North Dakota to Williston, North Dakota. The route is approximately 250 miles again. After tomorrow we change to “Mountain Time” and start heading for the Rocky Mountains through Montana and Idaho.  I look forward to capturing that scenery.

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— Main.JohnWesterman – Published 05 Aug 2004

Other photos from today:

Wind blown wooden structure
Thunderstorm with wind
Text to Sakakawea monument
Monument to Sitting Bull