Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 3

We spent about 4 hours in camp this morning.  I'm interested to see what that can be shaved down to with some practice and streamlining.  We had a leisurely breakfast, played with the gas stove a little, Mom and I took showers since they were available, waited for the tent to thoroughly dry out before packing (especially since we had carefully picked out our camping spot to be in full view of the morning sun).

The top of the tipi from the inside ... I thought it looked neat.

Campsite on the shores of Big Lake

Toeing the line.
We're trying to teach the dogs not to run out of the tipi without permission, just like at the house.  They've escaped a couple times.  There is no floor in the tipi so it is a matter of them sticking their noses underneath the wall and just busting through.

We took highway 29 through Iowa along the Missouri River valley.  And it was gorgeous.  Loads of goldenrod in the road ditches and what I think was false sunflower ... gonna have to look that one up. I love all the little farmsteads, the lonely silos in the fields.  I think it was the soybean field that have turned an amazing mustard yellow.

We stopped in Hamburg, IA for gas and ice.  We've been using 5 and 10 liter dry bags to keep the coolers tidy.  The idea is that when the ice melts, the water stays contained in the dry bag to be drained out at some convenient time rather than soaking the entire contents of the cooler.  It is worked fairly well, though not fail safe.  Particularly the time the cooler was to full so I just folded it over (more space efficient) instead of rolling it down and snapping it.  And as I expected, I didn't catch it in time.

You all will have to forgive me .... I figured out, on day 3, that I love pictures that include the map and the canoe.  So here are the first of many.  :)  I've been marking and dating our route with an orange sharpie in my own personal atlas that was acquired on day 2.   Hopefully this will be the first of many adventures that will clutter these amazing pages!

Passing the time in between checking on scenery.
The crossing of the Missouri River!
The hills on the other side of the river were amazing.  We sounded like we were watching a fireworks show as we exclaimed at each new curve.

We stopped for bathrooms and gas in Presho, SD.  Saw a pheasant crossing the road!  Eastern South Dakota was very beautiful ... after the hills near the river there were wide open places, sunflower fields, burgundy brown milo fields.  I love the evening light as it makes an amazing glow across the aged corn fields.  There were lots of cattle farms and a few dairy farms along the road and what looked like harvested wheat fields.  Lots of piles of round bales neatly stacked in the fields.

Harvested wheat?
The overloaded van combined with bad rear shocks makes for entertaining driving.  Bumps in the road feel like we're hitting waves in a boat.  US-90 has lots of those bumps in SD.

"Eat steak. Wear furs.  Keep your guns.  The American way."  -SD billboard
And another sunset.
We were determined to camp in the Badlands tonight, mainly to do away with the uneventful drive across most of SD.  We got into Cedar Pass Campground just past sunset.  There was barely enough light to make out the silhouettes of the hills there.   It was fascinating!  And then we woke up in the morning ..... continued on Day 4.  :)

We were told no open fires, or stoves of any kind other than compressed gas.  Good thing we had a little gas stove with us.  We picked a campsite, pitched the tent in record time and had just started the gas stove when the caretaker arrived and informed us that the site we had chosen was reserved.  Sure enough.  So we started over again at the next site over.  It was a late night once the mac n' cheese and broccoli got eaten.  Very low humidity and in the 50's.  We chose not to use the tipi liner and it worked fine as there was little to no dew or condensation.

1,082 miles in.


  1. I think the Missouri River crossing picture is fantastic. Great job on capturing this wonderful trip you wonderful lady! Praying with you.

    1. Thanks, Toria, for everything! Miss you like crazy!