This is Jared, back at it after Joe’s stay over in Pierre, SD. I spoke with Joe this afternoon, as he was eating dinner, after he had settled in for the night at West Bend recreation area on the Big Bend section of the Missouri River. A very kind family that Joe met at the campsite offered him some baked walleye, which was very much appreciated. The past few days have been awesome for him, enhanced by the warm kindness that the people of South Dakota have shown him. I hope everyone gets the chance to read Joe’s blog of his adventures with Kelly Lane and the rest of the South Dakota paddling crew. He wants to express again his thankfulness for the great hospitality and companionship of everyone involved in the past few days!
The Big Bend, Joe’s current location, is a 25 mile bend on Lake Sharpe that makes a large, loose curve, almost making a full circle. Lewis and Clark noted that on the thin strip of land between the two ends of the Big Bend, called the Narrows, was an abundant amount of wildlife. Today, there is still a large amount of wildlife present, with hunting opportunities including Canada geese, duck, grouse, pheasant, deer and antelope. Lake Sharpe, the lake Joe is currently on, begins at Pierre and extends to Fort Thompson, where the Big Bend Dam is located. The camp downstream of the dam is also Joe’s goal destination for tomorrow.
As for the paddling itself, Saturday was great as he was able to paddle out of Pierre with the South Dakota paddling crew. The 23.5 mile day was great and described in great detail, with accompanying pictures, on Pat Wellner’s blog, which can be found here. When I spoke with him that night, Kelly, Tina and Joe were at a steakhouse, sharing a last good meal before Joe would be back on the river by himself. The day was a great sendoff to his time in Pierre and Rapid City. Today (Sunday), he paddled 33 or 34 miles through more pretty country in South Dakota.
I will hear from Joe tomorrow, probably after he sets up camp downstream of the Big Bend Dam, and look forward to updating the Paddling for Parkinson’s community at that time.
Also, on an aside, many people have been wondering when Joe will be passing upcoming cities. It is hard to predict exact dates, as weather and conditions can change quickly, but I was able to get some rough estimates for Joe’s arrival date in some upcoming cities. Joe predicts that if he is moving really well, he can make in to St. Louis on August 1st or 2nd. If he is moving at a normal clip, that date will fall back to the 7th or 8th. With that date set, Joe then predicts that Omaha will be somewhere around the 25th and Kansas City sometime around the 28th of July. These dates can change fairly quickly, but it gives a decent idea for the timetable of the trip. As the trip continues, the dates will become a little more accurate.
A group photo: from L to R Tina, Kelly, Lenise, Joe, Pat, John, and Gary (photo courtesy of Pat Wellner)
Lastly, but certainly not least, Joe would like to thank all the South Dakota paddlers: Tina, Kelly, Lenise, Pat, John, and Gary (I hope I didn’t leave anyone out) for such a great last few days!