Tobacco Gardens Resort
Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota
June 29, 2023

Dear Family & Friends:

Note: for frequent photos and videos of my journey, check out my eightsummits Facebook page.

Rod & Diane Gorder were great hosts in Ft  Peck. They drove me to all the historical sites, including the Ft. Peck Interpretive Center where I learned about dinosaurs and the construction of the Ft. Peck Dam. On June 20, Rod Gorder portaged me around Ft. Peck Dam to my downstream launch point.

The day started well with good weather and a strong current. Then, things went bad when the SOS function on my inReach activated while the device was stored in my dry bag. I had no idea this happened. Without my knowledge, a search was begun using boats, planes and personnel. Before they reached me on the River, I discovered the mistake and cancelled the SOS. Of course, I feel really bad about this mishap. The rescue agency personnel were gracious in telling me this happens and they are just glad I’m okay. I also feel bad that my family endured this stress. It won’t happen again.

I made good downstream progress and set up camp just as it started raining. The rain pinned me in my tent for the rest of the day and into the evening.

June 21 was also a good day of paddling. I set up camp under some trees on a bluff overlooking the River. Looks like more rain tonight.

June 21 was a really nice day on the River. The current was strong, the sky was blue, with beautiful puffy clouds, and the River was glassy still the whole way. There are three “Bills” on the River. To avoid confusion, Norm Miller calls us “Missouri Bill,” “St. Louis Bill” and “Everest Bill.” Missouri Bill is downstream from me as he started earlier. St. Louis Bill was upstream from me as he started just after me. Today, he caught up to me and we paddled together to our current campsite. He has the exact same Clipper canoe as me. We plan to travel together for the next couple of weeks. He is a really friendly guy, and I am glad we connected.

June 24-25. These were two great days on the River. The weather was nice, the current was strong, the water was placid, low winds and beautiful vistas. Every turn of the River unfolded a new surprise of nature. Montana is a beautiful state. Our campsite on June 24 was, by far, the best of the trip. June 25 was the best day of the trip. We paddled 38.1 miles. I spent a lot of time just letting the current carry me down River without the need to paddle. So relaxing. We are just 14 miles from North Dakota, Sharon’s home state. We will arrive in Tobacco Gardens Resort in three days. I plan to take a couple of rest days at the Resort before we tackle Lake Sakakawea. This Lake will be another big challenge.

June 28, 2023. After a long, hard day of paddling, we arrived at Tobacco Gardens Resort. More on this fantastic Resort in the next post.

Rod & Diane Border

Ft. Peck Interpretive Center

St. Louis Bill

Twin Canoes

St. Louis Bill

Beaver dam

Baby eagle in nest

Mom & Dad

Favorite campsite

Least favorite mosquito infested campsite

Indian Creek Campground