Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lake Oahe - Half way Down the Missouri

(Beautiful rolling hills for hours at a time. This was just really cool country to paddle through)

After a 10.5 hour, 35 mile day on the river, I was able to talk with Joe. The day was a longer one, with the 35 miles coming on flat water without the aid of the sail. But with the weather in his favor, he was able to go beyond his goal of 30 miles per day on Lake Oahe. Today (Tuesday) will be a change for him because he will try a portage. From his campsite, he will paddle around 10 miles, then do a half mile portage over the “little bend.”

A photograph of Lake Oahe at the Little Bend Area

Once across the small land strip, he will then try and paddle as far as he can, hopefully using the wind that is supposed to pick up. Joe sees the portage as an opportunity to both stretch his legs and cut off a certain amount of paddling. He told me his legs need the work too; he has not been out of the kayak for very long since his last departure in Bismarck.

Throughout the day (Monday), Joe saw the coastline dotted with golf courses and rolling hills. He hoped that when he arrived in camp, he might be able to take advantage of the courses by grabbing a burger at the clubhouse. His camp further motivated him because it was hot and there was no shade. A break in a golf clubhouse would have been so nice! Alas, after the short hike from his campsite to the nearest clubhouse, he was turned away as it was members only. He was a little disappointed, but getting out of the Mary Agnes and hiking around the Lake Oahe area was positive nonetheless. It was probably also a good feeling to know that when he reached camp yesterday, he passed the half way point on the Missouri. He is now on the second half of his 2,321 mile journey down the “Big Muddy.”

( A look down toward my sun-baked camp at Sutton Bay)

Also, for all those inclined, here is a link to Norm Miller's blog on his journey up the Missouri. In 2004, he retraced Lewis and Clark's footsteps by paddling upstream on the Missouri from St. Louis and ending in the Pacific. Part of his journey was done by foot: from Three Forks (where Joe began) over the Continental divide. He has been unbelievably helpful to Joe and his blog is a great way to see another's journey on the Missouri. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I am also in the process of uploading some photos from past blog entries, so feel free to scroll down to see them updated.

I look forward to updating the community once I hear from Joe after the little bend today.

Paddle on,


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