Today’s weather observations are as follows. Looks like we’ll be driving into the leading edge of a stationary low pressure system that will kick up thunderstorms along the route today. More likely than not, we’ll be riding in the rain off and on all day. Hopefully it won’t be severe.
The high temperatures look like they’ll be in the upper 80’s. We’ll take anything below 90 but it doesn’t look like those temperatures are more than a day’s drive away.
Looking at the surface maps makes me realize just how far away from home I really am at the moment. I’ve driven approximately 1800 miles since leaving Virginia on August 30th.
We did, in fact, start out in the rain today but the rain quickly stopped and the rest of the day was in clear skies and bright sunshine.
The first place we visited was Fort Mandan where Lewis and Clark set up camp for the winter of 1804-1805. In their journals they wrote much about this place and about the Mandan and Hidatsa Indians. The fort was surprisingly small for the 50 or so people that stayed within it’s walls.
We also visited the Knife River Indian summer home site and learned as much as we could about them. It was at this place that Lewis and Clark found Sacajawea before their journey west and, in my estimation, probably one of the most important things that happened to Lewis and Clark.
In present times there has been a dam placed on the Missouri River and a new lake has formed. It’s named after Sacajawea and is absolutely huge.
After leaving the Knife River area we at at a place called “Glo’s Kitchen”. Since I know a “Glo” we decided to stop and eat at Glo’s place, meet Glo and talk about the day thus far. The food was pretty good and it’s a place you’d never go to unless you happened upon it.
From there it was off to the western most places of North Dakota. Just outside our destination of Williston there is a place called Lund’s landing who’s proprietor prepares juneberry pies. So we stopped and ate one of her pies with some iced cream and an cold iced tea. Around her place the lake has receded to the extent you can barely tell there was a lake there now. It’s been 5 years since their dock has seen water and they are hoping the Corps of Engineers let’s enough water back into the system so they can get their business back in order.
After pie it was on to Williston, ND. We got to the hotel, checked in and unpacked. On our way into town there was a “historic site” sign that I wanted to check out. It was in a place mentioned in Lewis’ journal as “Cut Bluff”. As you will recall if you’ve read his journal that the mosquitos were “exceedingly troublesome” as their journey progressed up the Missouri river. Words are one thing, living the words is another.
I got to this place called “Cut Bluff”, dismounted my bike and walked to a few of the plaques on display there. A strange buzzing filled my ears. After about 3 minutes I looked down at my clothes and I was COVERED in mosquitos!! I had boots on, long pants, long sleeved shirt and a hat but they were all over me and now biting my face. I ran back to my bike swatting like crazy and they clung to me like velcro! So I hopped on my bike and drove away the whole while swatting bugs off my clothes.
It was a truly amazing experience and I can’t imagine having to stay there the night without protection.
So I went back to the hotel and grabbed my computer to process pictures and start on my journal and ended up playing pool with a bunch of nuts that were attending a wedding the next day. It’s amazing to watch 20-somethings put away a “few” without regard to tomorrow. I left early and they were going strong.
It’s mountain time from here on out and we are on our way to Great Falls, Montana tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock.
— Main.JohnWesterman – Published 06 Aug 2004
Other photos from today: