Thursday, July 16, 2009

God is Great, Beer is Good, People are Crazy

If you're from North Dakota, then turning on the radio and hearing a song with this title wouldn't surprise you in the least, but for someone from the Northeast it's a bit of an experience.

I started the day in South Sioux City, IA. I wanted to see the Missouri River that Lewis and Clark saw, and was told that starting from Ponca State Park and continuing upstream there's a 59 mile stretch of river that was never channelized. The Missouri River from that point downstream would - I daresay - be completely unrecognizable to anyone who saw it during the frontier era. Its course has been straightened, and the river bottom has been cleared, all to make the river navigable.

That's a the view upstream from Ponca State Park, located on the Nebraska side of that states' border with South Dakota. Notice the meandering path of the river; downstream the character of the Missouri River is much different, due to channelization.

I was told that if I drove ten minutes upstream, I would find a scenic overlook right before the bridge to Vermillion, SD. Here are a couple of photos from that spot, again facing upstream.

This time notice the sandbars. Lewis and Clark had to deal with these obstacles, plus clumps of driftwood, logs racing downstream and sawyers, which were parts of trees (or whole trees) rooted in the river bottom.

Next I would like to see a few sites in the vicinity of Bismarck, ND. The best route took me a bit away from the Missouri, but then again I was driving a car, not paddling a keelboat or pirouge. So I went up I-29, made a left at Fargo, ND onto I-94, and now I'm writing this in Bismarck.

From New York through Ohio the speed limit on interstate highways was 65, in Indiana through Nebraska it was 70. Once you get to South Dakota we bump it up to 75.

The day's journey:

According to Google Maps I drove 530 miles today!

No comments:

Post a Comment