Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 5 Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pierre, South Dakota to Riverdale, North Dakota
Miles Traveled Today: 349.7
Total Miles: 1847.3

Got off to a very early start this morning, with the knowledge that it was supposed to be 100+ in South Dakota and around 90 in North Dakota. We decided to drive while it was cooler, so we were on the road before 7 a.m. What a great time to ride!

Lewis and Clark discovered 300 different species of plants and animals on their expedition. We have seen plenty of those species in the last two days, including some rarely found in Wisconsin, if at all. Some of them included woodcock, beaver, mule deer, grouse, a pronghorn antelope with a baby, and finally ring-necked pheasants. Now we know some of these are in Wisconsin, but seriously, pheasants were crossing the road or were roadkill as often in the Dakotas as the white-tail population is in Wisconsin. They were everywhere. We were playing dodge 'em most of the morning.

We reached Mobridge, South Dakota, with only one slight mishap. Jeff's gear linkage broke, so he taped and twist-tied it until we could reach a Harley shop in Mandan.

Meanwhile, we stopped at Sacagawea's monument overlooking the Missouri, and also supposedly the grave of Sitting Bull. Apparently there is some argument if it is real because he was originally buried at Fort Yates, ND. Rumor has it that Sitting Bull's  remains are still there, and that the Mobridge local government did it as a stunt so a bridge would not be built at that location. It worked. The bridge was built 6 miles away. We ran into a Native American who was at the Harley shop, and he believes that the remains are still at Fort Yates. Interesting mystery.

The roads we traveled most of the time were 1804 and 1806. Great views from the bluffs above the Missouri. Only one problem. No towns = No gas. Just before we pulled into Washburn, one of us ran out of gas on the very last hill before the gas station. We were literally 100 yards from the gas station. If we had reached the crest of the hill, the bike could have coasted in. Oh, well, at least we didn't have to go too far for gas. Guess who ran out? Hint: It was not the same person that put diesel in the gas tanks.

Because of the flooding we were unable to see or do two more activities today, bringing the total to four. We have now missed out on the Sgt. Floyd Museum and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (LCIC) in Sioux City, the Lewis and Clark Riverboat Tour in Bismarck, and worst of all, Fort Mandan in Washburn, ND.

We were able to go to the LCIC at Washburn. The LCIC had interesting metal statues out front, and they had a high school junior give a 20 minute presentation on the entire journey. He did a great job. This is the area, of course, that the expedition met Sacajawea.

The flooding basically surrounded Fort Mandan. We could drive to it, but could not tour it. Probably the biggest disappointment of the trip thus far.

The flooding has also affected our ability to stay at campgrounds. Yesterday we had to stay in a hotel because ALL campgrounds in Pierre were underwater. We saw the road as we pulled into Pierre. Today we found out that many people from Minot have come down to the Bismarck/Mandan/Washburn area. Luckily, a guy at the Harley shop came through and told us about a small town called Riverdale that had turned the old high school into a lodge and cafe.

This place is amazing. They kept all kinds of trophies and photos that are displayed all over the building, and the rooms are immaculate. The place has been open for 4 years and they continuously are doing different types of remodeling. The gym is even used for weddings and concerts. Feeling kind of spoiled, but we can't get over that feeling of no running in the halls.

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