Thursday, July 9, 2009

Completion of Lake Oahe - The Last of the Big 3 Reservoirs of the Upper Missouri

(Approaching the intake structure of the Oahe Dam)

I spoke with Joe after he had completed his portage of Oahe Dam. Two local paddlers, John and Pat, came out the day before at Pike Haven and met with him. They then helped Joe portage the dam and they all shared dinner at Mad Mary's Steakhouse in town. Joe was very appreciative of all the help! John and Pat are also scheduled to paddle alongside Joe as he departs Pierre in the coming days.

A "weathered" Joe, ready for great food and company at Mad Mary's Steakhouse (courtesy of Pat Wellner)

His campsite last night (Wednesday Night) was located just past the dam at Oahe Downstream Campground #2. Joe felt like “a huge weight was off my shoulders” to be done with the three large reservoirs of the Upper Missouri. He was so fortunate with weather as many paddlers have to wait out wind and thunderstorms while on the reservoirs. In comparison, it took Norm 14 days to cross Lake Oahe due to the weather, whereas Joe was fortunate enough to get off the lake in 6 and a half days. The time it has taken him to cross all the lakes is a real testament to how great the weather has been and how lucky Joe has been in his timing.

(My downstream camp...the shade was a true blessing)

After the last blog from Pike Haven, Joe stopped at the local steakhouse for dinner, and then continued paddling up until dark. This was a great decision as the last leg of the paddle yesterday (Wednesday) saw a huge southeast breeze pick up, making for a heck of a headwind. If Joe hadn't of kept on paddling after Pike Haven, the headwind would have been with him for most of the day.

John and Pat then helped him on the portage, after the last mile with the headwind. Pat and John were awesome in taking some pictures of the portage as well as outside Mad Mary's Steakhouse. Pat runs his own blog on his adventures paddling the Missouri, feel free to check it out here.

Joe at the takeout point near the intake structure at Oahe Dam (Courtesy of John Adler)

Joe, with Oahe dam in background (Courtesy of John Adler)

Also, be sure to check out the article in the Capital Journal (Pierre's local newspaper) by David Montgomery. It can be found here, or on the link under the Media and News Coverage section. Joe will hopefully get internet access while in Pierre, so look for a blog entry as well as some more photos. If not, we can expect his next blog and photo upload to occur further south, in Sioux City. I will speak with Joe later on today and look forward to updating the Paddling for Parkinson's community at that time, if Joe doesn't beat me to it.

Paddle On,


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