In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
From Illinois to the Pacific
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September 12, Day 7, Pierre, SD to Mandan, ND
After many days of air conditioning troubles, sound troubles, air pressure troubles, our bus finally expired, just as we got to the motel at Pierre, SD. Eric's excellent cartoon tells the story.

A new bus came at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, and we had to swap out all of the supplies. Everyone pitched in. This willingness to help and to continue the journey with good heart is one of  the things I truly love about Elderhostel. To quote William Clark himself, when the keelboat got twisted around by the Missouri River: "Some of our crew being prepared for all Situations leaped into the water Swam ashore with a roap, and fixed themselves in Such Situations, that the boat was off in a fiew minits, I can Say with Confidence that our party is not inferior to any that was ever on the waters of the Missoppie."  

We proceeded on to the next stop, the grave of Sitting Bull sitting high atop the Missouri River.






Siting Bull was originally buried at Fort Yates in North Dakota, but he was later stolen by South Dakota, to place him looking down the river he loved.

At Abraham Lincoln State Park we toured the home of George Armstrong Custer.

We capped off the day with a cruise at Bismarck, with our flag proudly flying.

A fun display of L&C on the shore.

Amy's Journal

Day 7, Saturday Sept. 12, Pierre, SD to Mandan, ND – 248 miles, total 1279
7:45 am
Our day began in the King’s Inn parking lot unloading our bus with the broken brake and loading our new bus with our new driver, Gary.  With many helping hands we were on our way at 8:45 am.  Waving good-bye to Marv, who will stay on the original bus until the repair is made, we headed north on Rt. 83 with an overcast sky.   

Dick Gelfond, a geologist on this trip gave us an explanation of why the Missouri River is at its location.   On the SD map he pointed out the group of lakes in the northeast corner of SD, an Eskars, or big pile-up of ice from the Glacial Period.  The Eskars show movement of granite in that area – the Great Plains – which is flat. We crossed the Missouri River on the Mobridge.   

Our 10:30 rest stop was at Grand River Casino on the Standing Rock Reservation.  We stopped near by to view Sitting Bull’s grave and monument.  He is facing the Missouri River that he loved.  We then walked to Sakakawea’s monument.  (Some noticed a small prairie rattlesnake on the road.)

Historian Tom told us stories about mountain men Hugh Glass and Jedediah Smith.  Tom said the best book about mountain men is A Majority of Scoundrels by Don Berry. 

After crossing the state line into North Dakota, we saw Sitting Bull’s original grave and monument before his grave was robbed and he was moved to South Dakota. 

At 12:45 we had a Bountiful Buffet at Prairie Knights Casino on the Standing Rock Reservation.  We then proceeded to Fort Abraham Lincoln.  First Sgt. Johnson, 7 th Calvary, was our guide through Gen. Custer’s home.   He has been employed by the Abe Lincoln Park Foundation, which restored this park. 

Custer’s home is 3500 sq. ft.. The second floor has an unofficial “officer’s club” with a pool table and card table.  In one room there is a stuffed buffalo head shot by Custer in 1868.  And a grizzly bear which he shot in 1874.   In 1876 Custer, aged 36, died at the Battle of Little Big Horn.  He had ordered the Cheyenne, Sioux and Arapaho Indians to move back to their reservations.  Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Chief Gall refused. 

Our next stop at 4:30 was the Lewis & Clark Riverboad Cruise on the lovely, peaceful Missouri River.  (Our weather was beautiful so we really enjoyed the boat ride.)   As we navigated the river we could imagine the Corp of Discovery experiencing this river, even though they had immense challenges as they overcame obstacles moving upstream. 

In the 1860’s a riverboat captain could earn $1000/mo., with no taxes.  Soon railroads brought competition and salaries dropped to $125/mo.The Missouri is the longest river in the US. Fish found in it include Wall Eye, Perch, Sturgeon, Northern Pike and   the river boat is just used 3 months when the weather is warm. 

We arrived at our hotel by 6:30 pm Dinner was at seven and we enjoyed a quiet, peaceful, restful evening.

Download Amy's Complete Journal in Word or PDF

1029 + Pierre, SD to Mandan, ND + 255  = 1284
Actual: 1031 + 248 = 1279

Copyright 2006 DeLorme ( Street Atlas USA® Plus

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