After I spoke with an exhausted Joe last night, the weather became rougher as predicted. Rain came down throughout the night accompanied by lightning strikes that woke him up repeatedly. The rain continued through the morning, making for a wet start to the day. Due to the weather, and the threat for more severe weather later in the day, Joe decided to make the most of it and take a half day, stopping in Chamberlain. As of my last conversation with Joe, he is scheduled to meet up with a local reporter, so keep tuned for more media posts in the coming days.
Joe did point out some interesting notes on the day though. As the photos from earlier in South Dakota show, there have been little to no trees along the banks. Today’s stretch was the first day in which trees reappeared along the banks. Shale cliffs were also lining parts of the river, making for great scenery. The pictures will be able to do more justice to the scenery, so look for those when Joe makes it around some internet access.
6 miles before Joe ended his day in Chamberlain he passed by the historic site of the Crow Creek Massacre. The actual location is a strip of land wedged between two creeks that flow into the floodplain of the Missouri, Wolf Creek and Crow Creek. The area was populated heavily at the time (14th Century); there was predicted to be 8000 Initial Coalescent people living along the river in the stretch from Pierre to Chamberlain. Archeologists are unclear on who is actually responsible for the massacre of the villagers. The current hypothesis is that due to the overpopulation and shortage of food, a competing village wiped out the Crow Creek Village in order to grow more crops. Regardless of the cause, the result was that around 1325 A.D., 500 Crow Creek villagers were killed. It is the largest prehistoric massacre known from North America. (All information gleaned from http://www.usd.edu/anth/crow/crow1.html ) Feel free to read into it more, there is a lot of information on this website as well as others on the internet.
Joe is setting off early tomorrow in hopes of putting in a 40 mile day. If he reaches his goal, it’ll mean that he will have one more day on Lake Francis Case. I will hear from him sometime tomorrow afternoon and look forward to updating the Paddling for Parkinson’s community then.