“Spend as much time as possible on mountains, in small boats, or otherwise out in the weather; if you never get wet, cold, exhausted or scared, you won’t properly appreciate being dry, warm, rested and safe.” ~ Peter Jay

"I’m an adventuring river rat at heart. Put me on a floating piece of driftwood and I’m happy." ~ Christina Glauner

"There’s folly and foolhardiness on one side and daring and calculation on the other." ~ C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hwy 212 to Little Bend

Roger Debates, Matt Story, and David Mays met at my house on Friday evening for our next section of the Missouri River. Our plan was to go from the highway 212 bridge to the Oahe Dam over two days. On Saturday morning, we met a friend of mine from the running club, Art Smith, at the west shore boat ramp. He rode up to highway 212 with us and drove Roger's truck and trailer back to west shore. This way we didn't have to shuttle ourselves after two long days on the water.

The day started out great. The water was glass early on and as the day progressed it got a little choppy, but nothing for us to worry about. I think we only took three short breaks during the day. We had two large crossings to shave distance on Oahe and one smaller crossing across a bay on the west shoreline.

As we came around the end of the little bend peninsula, we were met with fierce headwinds and 4-5 foot waves. Our progress was severely impeded; our speed at times dropped below 1 mph. We had been averaging around 4 mph for our moving average earlier.

As the sun was getting close to setting, we started to get nervous about our progress. We ducked into a small bay to try to get our bearings and even considered camping there. Matt even had to do a roll when the waves knocked him over there. But, we pushed on, hoping to camp near a road.

We did not make it to the little bend campground, but did get to the boat ramp. Which turned out to have better wind protection anyway.

We camped in a small grove of trees and were feeling pretty good by the time we had dry clothes on and had some hot food in us. Freeze dried meals never tasted so good. We decided to wait until morning to see if we should continue on or bail on the 30 miles to the dam.

By Sunday morning, the wind had not died down. So, I texted few friends in Pierre looking for a ride to retrieve Roger's truck. Luckily, Jesse Roebuck responded positively. While we waited for him, we made up some freeze dried eggs and bacon, added some spam to it, and wrapped the mixture in tortillas. Delicious!

The wind did die down some by mid day, but that would not have given us enough time to cover 30 miles. So, we will have to cover it on our next trip before moving north on Oahe.

We decided that had the SD Kayak Challenge held a race up here (this was the original idea for a route), the drop rate would have been astronomical. Rec. boats would not have fared well in the waves we faced.

I also got to experiment with my new spot gen3 device/unit. It worked great. Here are the points it recorded in tracking mode (every 10 minutes).

View hwy 212 to Little Bend in a larger map