Yankton, South Dakota
November 1, 2023
Dear Family & Friends:
October 29. I made great progress today on the Missouri River with a really strong current. I launched in extremely cold weather from Pickstown at 9:30 am and arrived at my destination, Blue Moon Resort (it’s not a resort), at 4:15pm. I knocked on the door of a randomly selected house along the River to get permission to tent camp for the night. No one answered, so I started to pitch my tent. A man then came out on his front porch with a shotgun and said “what’s going on”? (I found out later his name is Dwyane and he is 90-years old)
I explained my situation and Dwayne gave me permission to set up my tent at the back of his house. Inside the tent, it was brutally cold-16 degrees-and getting colder by the minute. An hour later, Mike pulled up in his car and told me he has a cabin I can stay in tonight. I’m convinced he was sent by God. I was warm and comfy in the cabin and looking forward to tomorrow’s challenges. Life is sure an adventure.
October 30. I launched from Blue Moon Resort at 11am. My launch was delayed because the Resort was deserted and I could not find anyone who could transport me from the cabin to my campsite. The current and tailwinds were fabulous and I sailed down the River to Springfield. It was cold during the day but it didn’t bother me because the paddling kept me warm. Navigating was tricky because of the braided channels and numerous sandbars and tall reefs. Twice, I had to exit my canoe in the middle of the River and drag it into deeper water.
After paddling about 10 miles, I passed under Standing Bear Bridge and entered Lewis & Clark Lake, the last Lake on the Missouri River. I missed the channel leading to Springfield and shot past Springfield in the string current. I pulled to shore at the Santee Indian Reservation and called Bob Foley. He picked me up and transported my canoe and me to a motel in Springfield. We had dinner at Norm’s Bar where I was interviewed by an Alex, a female Reporter from the local newspaper. I slept sound and well.
Halloween. I was back on Lewis & Clark Lake at 10:30am, destined for Gavin’s Point Dam, 20 miles down the Lake. No current, but I enjoyed strong tailwinds all the way to the Dam. Along the way, I had beautiful views. I arrived at the Dam at 4:30pm. Bob met me at the boat ramp and transported my canoe and me to the other side of the Dam where I relaunched on the River and paddled to Dennis & Ann Menke’s beautiful home a few miles down the River.
This was a milestone day for me because there are no more dams or lakes on the Mighty Moe. It’s all River with current to move me steadily downstream. All I need is warmer weather and tailwinds. The good news is warmer weather is forecast for the next ten days-40’s & 50’s in the day and 20’s & 30’s at night. The nights will be cold, but, hopefully, not single digit cold.
November 1. Dennis gave me a King’s tour of Yankton, Gavin’s Point Dam, Lewis & Clark Lake and the many beautiful park areas near the Lake in South Dakota and Nebraska. He also took me to retail stores in Yankton to resupply with warmer clothes. Dennis, Ann and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner cooked by Ann. Tomorrow, I will depart from Yankton, bound for Clay County State Recreation Area.
I have 806 miles to go before I reach the terminus of the Missouri River in St. Louis.😀