South Dakota Baby!!!

“Every time I look in the mirror, all these lines on my face gettin clearer…the past is gone, it went by like dusk to dawn”-Steven Tyler (Boston’s own)

Saturday July 26th

Resupply Day.  It is really nice, but strange, to be in a relatively busy town.  My supplies were desperately low, Great Fall (last true resupply point) was many moons ago.  I headed to a coffee joint and updated my blog before heading out to big box store USA for my goods.  The sensation of driving is somewhat foreign, I had not driven in about a month and I was way more cautious than normal.  In fact, when I got on Interstate 94 sixty mph felt like about a hundred.  It was special having all these options for meals, I impulsively drove by a fast food joint and had to acquire one of their chocolate frosty’s.  This is atypical behavior for me back in the “civilized world.”  I did feel somewhat out of place driving around, shopping for a jacket and food.  It is sort of like I am truly in my own little world.  I am aware that the “outside world” goes on, but it feels like I am in a Silo focused on paddling to the next destination.  Of course, my wife will bring me up to speed on outside issues and I do surf the web from time to time but it is almost like it is me, the canoe, and the river (+my daily interactions with said spouse). That’s it.

I also impulsively stopped at a rib joint and struck up a conversation with Ken McCain, a Florida (yes FL) transplant who moved to ND about a year ago.  He was interested in my journey and offered to pick me up from the airport once I dropped of my rental car, in fact he offered to let me stay at his place and show me around town.  Wow, what good fortune I have been having this week!!  After completing my errands Ken picked me up and we headed to downtown Bismarck.  Don’t laugh, it is actually pretty happening.  We enjoyed a nice evening and we had to have a nightcap at a local watering hole, The Broken Oar.  Good times for sure.  Ken, thank you for buying my dinner, showing me around town, the use of your shower, oh and your company wasn’t horrible.

Bismarck from land.

Bismarck from land.

Not a great photo of Ken and I.  He works hard for his money...thank you for the corn beef hamburger.

Not a great photo of Ken and I. He works hard for his money…thank you for the corn beef hamburger.

Sunday July 27th

Time to head back out on the river.  It was nice staying in Bismarck the past couple nights but I was ready to get going again…only I wasn’t exactly on my A game given the previous night’s activities.  I didn’t drink too much, but probably just enough to create this entirely sluggish feeling.  I wouldn’t recommend a night on the town and then a long paddle the following day,  I definitely wasn’t feeling it today.  I departed at 11:00 and had to call it a day at 6:00.  The day was gloomy (until about 7:00), I had a headache, and simply wanted more rest.  It sounds strange, but running around doing errands and going out on the town is very exhausting.

I found a nice sandbar right around where Lake Oahe begins (ugh, losing current) and called it a night…until another paddler, Dale Waldo, came cruising past me.  I yelled out to him and he finally became aware of my presence and joined me on the sandbar. Dale asked “Are you Keith Lynch?” and I said “perhaps”…you nevah know.  Anyway, Dale is also paddling the Missouri River as a summer activity before he begins his junior year at Michigan State.  He is a physics major, clearly only smart folks decide to take crazy canoe adventures.  We had a nice evening revisiting paddling tales, comparing our experiences.  He is also of the belief that Sak should be renamed Black Cat,  he had horrible wind during his stay with the Bird Woman.  I am now pretty much on the 3rd of the big 3 lakes, Lake Oahe.  Lake Oahe isn’t nearly as large as the others, it is known for huge waves and crazier wind…I am simply tired of wind, I hope I have some good days and don’t get stuck shore bound for 3-4 days which isn’t uncommon.

back on the river, not feeling great

back on the river, not feeling great

Gloomy day, just like my disposition

Gloomy day, just like my disposition

A beautiful sunset

A beautiful sunset

here she is the next morning

here she is the next morning

Monday July 28th

Dale and I awoke to perfect conditions, not a cloud in the sky and no wind!!!  I simply could’t have drawn it up any better, we headed out on to big, bad, Oahe.  Dale decided to go ahead since he is a stronger paddler than me, and really is trying to get to St. Louis before school begins.  We said our goodbyes and I wished him well, he has such a brighter future than me it is not even funny.  Anyway, with the good weather I made it about 25 miles before I experienced the casino gravitational pull…I was still not 100% after Saturday and decided to call it a day at about 5:30.  Prairie Nights  Casino Marina was giving me a big loud “Hey Keith, stop here.”  Yep, they will shuttle you from the marina to the casino…for free!!  I took advantage of this and tried my luck at 21, let’s put it this way….I should have kept paddling. Oh well, at least the campground was beautiful and I had a nice view of Lake Oahe.  Weather is suppose to be good tomorrow as well, so far so good.

Lake Oahe...don't wake up please.

Lake Oahe…don’t wake up please.

Dale is going places, I have been too places

Dale is going places, I have been too places

dang casino..didn't I do a video about this?

dang casino..didn’t I do a video about this?

the sad drive back..but hey, they shuttle you for free

the sad drive back..but hey, they shuttle you for free

the camping was awesome

the camping was awesome

Tuesday July 29th

A long day but a good day.  I finally arrived in South Dakota around 5:00 and carried on.  The terrain has really started to change, it absolutely has more of a “plains” feel to it.  It is very tranquil, from time to time I will stop paddling and simply sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, I am enjoying experiencing the South Dakota plains.  Anyway, I had targeted a campground to call it a night and it must have changed because I did not see any campground, only really nice homes.  Given my recent luck, I was tempted to beach the boat and start knocking on doors..but then I figured it would be better to panic search for campsites on the Lake.  It was getting late and I found myself again fighting dusk while looking for a campsite (similar to Lake Black Cat)…I found an even more questionable site than the previous time this occurred.  I made it work, fired up some pasta…and then I bumped my pot and it all spilled on the ground.  I was deflated and without energy so I decided to have Starburst and pistachios and called it a night.

The expression isn't good but the beard rules.

The expression isn’t good but the beard rules.

Plains are a comin

Plains are a comin

Yep

Yep

Gosh, I hope this bank holds....

Gosh, I hope this bank holds….

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8 Responses to South Dakota Baby!!!

  1. Dana TeCulver says:

    “Don’t look back. A new day is breakin’. It’s been too long since I felt this way. I don’t mind where I get taken. The RIVER is callin’. Today is the day”.
    Boston (mostly)

    Thanks for the update Keith. Very entertaining as usual. Stay frosty!

  2. bacaruda73 says:

    Two States Down! Fantastic accomplishment! Keep going Bro!

  3. Donald Zinter says:

    Congratulations on your arrival in South Dakota, sounds like quite an ordeal getting there especially fighting that terrible hang over. I can sympathize with your spilling of the pasta due to the shaky hands, been there and done that. I’m sure the big city can be quite frightening after spending so much time in the quiet and serene wilderness away from civilization. Sounds like you are not lacking for good meals and fine dining from time to time. Keep paddling and enjoy the beauty of our wonderful country and all the hard working people you meet who make this the greatest country on earth.

  4. Jared King says:

    I bet it’s “More than a Feeling” out there paddling like Keith is doing. Great posts Keith!

  5. Will Garvin says:

    4AUG Keith – Janet Moreland is about to motor away from Columbia (MO) heading to Lower Brule. The way you are clicking along you will be there to help her move in … and you should.

  6. David Forbes says:

    Lake Oahe seems to be holding its breath for you. Hope it doesn’t exhale too hard going around Little Bend.

  7. Matt Rounds says:

    Thanks for visiting with us it was really cool to meet you

  8. Kurt Stukel says:

    My family and I met Keith yesterday at the Snake Creek Rec. Area near Gregory,SD. Keith seemed to be in good spirits and said he traveled about 40 miles the previous day, so he slept in a bit today. Gave Keith a bag of deer jerky as he headed out. Good luck and God’s speed!

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