In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
From Illinois to the Pacific
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September 11, Day 6, Yankton, SD to Pierre, SD, 269 miles, total 1031
Remains of the chapel at Fort Randall (1856-1882), near Pickstown, SD

Great Rest Area above Missouri River near Chamberlain, SD

Akta Lakota Museum at Chamberlain, SD

Confluence of the Bad and Missouri Rivers in Fort Pierre, SD. This is where Lewis and Clark had a testy encounter with the Teton Sioux, Sept. 26, 1804. John Evans, an earlier fur trader had named it Little Missouri River, William Clark named it Teton River, and a later devasting flood produced the name Bad River, which it remains today.

Capitol Dome and flags at half-mast for 9-11 rememberance.

Cultural Heritage Center built right into a hillside.

Dinner at King's Inn

Amy's Journal

At 7:50 a.m. we departed the Best Western Kelly Inn in Yankton on a very overcast day. As we approached our 9:30 rest stop at the Fort Randall Casino a light rain was briefly felt. We re-boarded our keelbus and crossed the Missouri River on the Fort Randall Dam, which produces electricity. We drove around the historic Fort Randall Chapel. As we crossed back over the dam we headed north on route 50 proceeding on our way to Chamberlain. (I noted a weather coincidence in our Guidebook to the L&C Trail. On page 50 it reports: “Sept 11, 1804 – It was raining hard as the expedition’s boats made halting progress as they approached today’s Snake Creek Recreation Area west of Platte, SD. Which spot we were approaching on Sept. 11, 2009)

 By 11:30 we reached our first Chamberlain destination, an award winning L&C exhibit in a highway rest area affording breathtaking views of the sprawling Missouri River. Our weather thankfully cleared and the sun shone. Historian Tom brought out the flag for a group picture with the Missouri River in the background. We then proceeded on to nearby St. Joseph Indian School and Akta-Lakota Museum. Dixie Thompson gave a brief orientation of the residential school which is serving Indian children from poverty stricken communities. 30% are from Crow Creek Reservation and 30% from Shannon County-Pine Ridge Reservation. Classes are 12 students max, grades 1-6. With a teacher and an aide they work on reading and math to reach each child’s grade level. The school is funded with private donations. We were given a guided tour of the Akta-Lakota Museum and many of us made purchases.

 At 1:45 we proceeded to Pierre, SD observing the very scenic and unusual omega shaped Big Bend the Missouri River makes at the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Indian Reservations. Capt. Clark noted the distance across the neck was only 2000 yards while the water journey was about 30 miles. He detached some men to hunt on land while the boats made their way around the bend. Our weather stayed sunny with fluffy white clouds, so we enjoyed this interesting river bend’s scenery. Renee spotted the first buffalo and we were excited to see these amazing animals.

 At the Akta-Lakota Museum I picked up a Visual Chart of the uses made of the Buffalo. The stomach was used to carry and store water, every part of the meat was eaten and many ornaments and functional items were made of body parts and hair.

 Approaching Pierre, at present day Fort Pierre the expedition had its first meeting with the powerful Teton Sioux. A tense confrontation ensued, but violence was avoided by the diplomacy of Chief Black Buffalo. We stopped to view the historic markers at this site and Tom brought our flag and captured this experience with a group photo. Our next stop was the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center, an eye-catching building designed and built right into the ground. It is equal in size to two football fields. Our guide was very informative and fun and the exhibits helped us learn much SD history.

 Our long and interesting day began to wind down as we drove a short distance to the Kings Inn Motel. After unpacking we met at 7 pm for dinner. Most ordered Buffalo Stew, others ordered chicken. After dinner Grace made a sad announcement. We learned that our heretofore faithful keelbus had a fatal brake problem. And also our excellent driver, Marv, must remain with the bus while it is repaired. Hopefully he will be able to meet us in Helena. A new bus will come from Gillette, WY, with Gary Ferguson driving and we will move on to Mandan tomorrow as planned.

Download Amy's Complete Journal in Word or PDF

755 + Yankton, SD to Pierre, SD  274  = 1029
Actual 762 + 269 = 1031

Copyright 2006 DeLorme ( Street Atlas USA® Plus

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