87. Mobridge, SD; Along the Missouri

Weds., July 22, 2020

A couple of unforced errors this morning. I didn’t have a reservation for tonight or for the coming weekend and I didn’t check the weather. Well, I did see weather on TV this morning and noted tstorm warnings but I didn’t recognize the counties. I called to make reservation for this evening but had to leave a message and I didn’t wait for a return call before leaving. My intent was for a long 250+ mile day so I hooked up and left a great site/location and headed straight north cross country towards ND.

About 30 miles later the sky turned black. Pulled up radar on the phone and in another 20 miles or so I’d be in a big area of RED. So that’s where those counties were! Tstorm and hail warnings for about 50 miles and the another 50-75 miles of green -light rain. Too late to turn back. Narrow road, no place to turn around even if I wanted to. I did run into heavy rain, no hail, no lightening but some cross wind. Relatively back roads so light traffic though what traffic there was was double bottom farm haulers. Only problematic section was 13 miles with a 3-4” drop to the dirt shoulder immediately off the traffic lane. Zero room for error and even less when facing an oncoming double bottom crop hauler and wind. But by noon, the day brightened to blue skies, the evening’s park confirmed ‘no room in the inn’ and so I stopped to fuel up, raid the fridge for some lunch and figure out a Plan B. A call to the park in Medora ND (by the entrance to Teddy Roosevelt Natl Park) revealed that they also were full till Monday. So I found a park with decent service and reviews located in Mobridge, SD, along the Missouri, and headed there.

I arrived around 2:00 Central Time. Narrow roads and rain had made for sloppy driving and the rig was filthy so I washed it. Thankfully temps were in the mid 70s. Then I got in the Jeep and toured the area

Mobridge is on Lake Oahu (makes me think I’m in California or Hawaii) which is a long widened area of the Missouri River. The Missouri is a huge river nestled in a vast meandering valley. Really interesting topography.
Nearby at the end of a county road is a memorial and burial place for Sitting Bull. Behind this plaque is the gravesite and monument
The vista from the Sitting Bull Monument is amazing. Not hard to imagine oneself on horseback hunting buffalo
And a few hundred yards from Sitting Bull is a Monument to Sakakawea

I now have made reservations beginning tomorrow evening in Dickinson ND. Three years ago, one couldn’t find a place to stay in that whole general Western ND area because of the influx of workers in the oil fracking industry. What a difference a slumping oil market makes. When I cross the next bridge about 1 mile away, I will enter Mountain Time.

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