I spoke with Joe yesterday, just after he pulled in for a rest at Pike Haven Resort. He pulled off at the boat ramp, but he was excited that he was by a fishing resort so he could get some “real” food for a change. Spike's Steakhouse is supposed to have great food and I believe that after I spoke with him, he was excited to try it out.
(This is the - I just saw lightning and heard thunder and a mean storm is approaching- face)
Joe was physically tired but upbeat when I talked with him. The 12 mile paddle from his camping spot the night before to the Bush Landing boat ramp at Little bend was fairly calm. But once he got on land, he had to wait out a passing storm. Storms have been common for him on Lake Oahe. The night before (Monday night) a thunderstorm was passing over as he was going to sleep. Lightening struck close by, causing Joe to jump out of the tent. Fortunately, the storm passed by and he was able to get some shut eye.
The portage yesterday was a welcome leg workout for him. Instead of paddling the 15 miles around the Little Bend, Joe opted for the hour and 45 min portage. The hike was arduous; he carried the boat up a scree field with bugs, horseflies, and thistle bothering him the entire way. However, there were no rattlesnakes, which was really appreciated on this portage. Once on the other side, he was able to use his sail and coast to Pike Haven boat landing.
(This picture tries to capture what it feels like to complete the portage. I was exhausted but so happy to have finished the challenge with all body parts and no snake bites.)
He was optimistic that with a full moon last night, he could put some extra miles in. By the looks of the spot beacon updates, he was able to do so and will be at the Oahe Dam sometime today. His original plan was to make it to Pierre, SD midday on Thursday, but with his current progress, that might be a little earlier.
(Camp landing on the Koenig GPA Peninsula)
There are plans to meet up with some local reporters in Pierre, so stay tuned for more media links on the webpage. Photos from Vern were added from his departure out of Mandan, ND, so feel free to check them out. I will speak with Joe later today and look forward to updating the Paddling for Parkinson's community then.