Saturday, June 30, 2007
As the title suggests, I have moved to the Fort Peck dam in Montana. I spent the evening of my arrival and much of the next day trying to get online without success. I booted the modem this morning out of habit and for some reason it immediately connected. I read elsewhere that HughesNet had some problems this week and that may or may not be related. I'll see how long it works.
Since things are more or less back to normal I'll tour the area this afternoon. It's going to be hot so moving around will be more tolerable than trying to work inside.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The lake is beyond the last ridge in the haze.
Finally, a view of the lake. With the water level low, the lake bed is covered with what I later saw were cottonwood saplings.
The trail had several climbs and descents and crossed "saddles" like this...
...went left of the ridge...
...and to the right. If riding, you really have to trust your horse.
At lake level. The trail goes left to right up the ridge.
Some of the land at the bottom is leased pasture. Most of the prairie dogs had gone underground by now but you can still see groups of the brave ones barking at me.
Most of the vertical climb is complete. I had a long way to go but here I knew I had it made. I would like to stay another day and hike more but I have to get some paperwork in the mail on Monday. Williston is the nearest large town (~10,000) so I'll move the 120 miles tommorow and complete my business on Monday.
Friday, June 22, 2007
A little less so in my intended direction.I lost the trail at one point and came to a dead end.
On the way back. I still have to go down and then climb the other side.
I heard riders coming. They were probably talking on their cell 'phones. I waited at a wide point since much of the trail was narrow enough to be one way only. I was very impressed with what horses can do.
Back on top. Tomorrow I will plan more, take more water and start even earlier. A strenuous and thoroughly enjoyable hike.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I was very tempted to stay in the Killdeer, North Dakota municipal park. It was pleasant and well kept but I wanted to see the "badlands" area.
The park entrance. It is over 5000 acres with numerous trails. Although horse oriented it is pleasant and the horse noises and odors are tolerable. It is going to be hot tomorrow but I suspect a good strong wind will keep the insects at bay.
For some reason these two as yet unidentified birds have decided that the area under my awning now belongs to them. They have fought other birds for it and have given me notice.
There aren't many radio stations available. I am presently listening to an American Indian station. The best description I can give is the council fire scene from a John Wayne western repeated hour after hour. Drums and vocals. Hour after hour. The weather is in English. It grows on you and fits the character of the region but I can't understand the words or meaning.
The plan for tomorrow is to hike in the morning while it is cool and work in the afternoon. I would like to get down to the water, and back. It's one of those hikes where the first half is easy.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The same tributary as it empties into the Missouri.
I spent the rest of the day trying to guess when the world equity markets are going to return to reality. "Easy money" can't prop things up forever.
The terrain should change as I head toward the "badlands" or "breaks" as they are known. I think that the satellite image makes it look more green than it is. It may be a hot weekend baking in the sun.
Although I'll spend another week in North Dakota, I think I can add it to the States Visited Map:
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The reconstruction of Fort Mandan, the winter quarters of the Lewis and Clark party in 1804. I consider this area one of the key sites on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Had the expedition not survived the first winter in good condition the entire mission would have been in jeopardy. They developed a mutually beneficial relationship with the Mandan Indians and survived in good shape. I generally don't care for reconstructions but this one was extremely well done. The museum, called an "interpretive center" in Newspeak, was also excellent.
The reconstruction of the officer's quarters at Fort Mandan.
The Taylor log cabin dated 1869. You might think that the occupant would have been poorly educated yet Taylor published three books and became the newspaper editor while living here.
One of the last ferries that operated on the Missouri. The stern wheeler was retired in 1962 when the highway bridge was completed.
I finished the tourist agenda today. Tomorrow I'm going to do a five mile trail along the river and work "at home" the rest of the day. Early Thursday I head for the "bad lands".
Monday, June 18, 2007
On the backroads of the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Is this really the way? Yes, sixteen miles of dirt road before the park.
Another tight spot. I almost gave up on the dish and then caught a weak signal.
A pristine part of the Missouri, looking north.
The same place looking south.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Lake Oahe from space. The dam is north of Pierre just off the bottom of the photo. My location is very near the top of the picture. It's a very large lake.
Deer tracks near the water. There were even some tracks through my campsite that weren't there when I set up the satellite yesterday.
Looking north from the park entrance. It's an artifical lake so the trees are still decaying. In fact the nearest town had to be moved when the dam was built. I still like to think that the ridges are much as they appeared two hundred years ago.
When I stopped for lunch at an historic marker this little prairie dog did his best to give me the Italian "evil eye" and let me know that I wasn't welcome.
Monday, June 11, 2007
I have read about this meeting several times and was gratified to stand at the actual place.
The stone set at the Verendryes Site above Fort Pierre. The Frenchies were pretty good at marking their territory. One of these tablets was found just several years ago.
The view from the Verendryes Site. Not the highest ground but the highest ground with a good command of the river. A good choice.
The old business district has many fine old buildings. Unfortunately, many suffer from the "modernize and update" disease. A thoughtful renovation would be better.