Sakakawea Sunset Lodge

Riverdale, North Dakota

July 8, 2023

Dear Family & Friends:

July 7. Annie, Bill & I pushed off from Dakota Waters Resort at 6:10 AM. After battling headwinds and 2 to 3 foot swells for 6 hours, I called it quits at noon and set up camp in a quiet, secluded cove. As you will see, this turned out to be a great decision. Bill and Annie continued paddling down the Lake to the Dam, so that’s the last time I will see them. From here on, I’ll be paddling solo again.

In the afternoon, a group of several families pulled into my private cove in two really nice boats. I enjoyed conversing with them and watching the children and lab dogs frolic in the water. I did some hiking and exploring. I climbed up a steep bluff and took some photos & videos of the cove and the Lake.

I was up at 6:10 AM on July 8 and cruised down the Lake to a marina near Garrison Dam. The weather was perfect and the Lake was glassy still. I arrived at the Dam at 10AM. I called Nate at Sakakawea Sunset Lodge and asked for help with a portage around the Dam. His Dad, Mike, picked me up at the Marina and drove me to the Sunset Lodge Motel with my canoe and gear. I have a really nice room and my canoe and gear are on a flat bed trailer right outside my door.

Here’s the especially great news: just steps away from my room is the Iron Oar steakhouse. Mike tells me it is the finest restaurant and steakhouse in North Dakota.I had Parmesan Crusted Walleye, and it was really good. Mike & Nate run a great operation in Riverdale. Don’t pass it by if you are near.

Tomorrow, Mike will portage me to the River below the Dam. Yippee! I’m done with Lake Sakakawea and will enjoy the current for 76.5 miles as I paddle towards Bismarck, North Dakota. After arriving at Bismarck, I will start paddling on Lake Oahe, the longest and toughest lake on the Missouri River. I don’t want to think about that now.

July 8 was one of my best days on the River.

God has been good to me.

Burke Cove-no trespassers!

Except these nice folks

The Marina near Garrison Dam

Sakakawea Sunset Lodge

The finest restaurant in North Dakota