lefttop0These are Paddle Fish that they catch this time of year at the Confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. North Star Caviar Company keeps this building here, hires guys to clean the fish for free for the eggs, for Caviar, a very expensive kind I guess.
100 guys on the bank with another 50 across the river, I went right down the middle of them as they were casting their 10/15 sinker with treble hooks on them, they snag them. They get as big as 100lbs or more.
04762500This is what I see when I look at my phone to see where I am.
MAY 7 SATURDAY DAY 24 ON THE WATER – Up early and in the 4 Bears Buffet with the phone and lap top plugged in so I can leave with both of them at peak charge. I went and sat down where the wi-fi was good and updated the Web page with all of the Journals/Pics up until yesterday.
They are just now finishing up a $51M Event Center and Addition to the Casino area, spending some of the Oil Money they have received from the Oil Boom up in this ND Bakken area that is now a bust for the for see able future.
I had a guy come down and talk to me who knows Bob Stenhouse and Terry and his wife, the guys from the Van Hook Travel Plaza. Once again, small world. I also ran into a guy superintending some concrete work at the Casino, part of the expansion…… from Bend/who knew everyone I do, bit of a story but won’t go into it, it has to do with CMS and that situation.
0135636000I got on the river/lake about 9:30 and it was just like glass and just beautiful. I have stopped for the day in a spot that has to be the most peaceful, quietest and serene place I have camped so far on the trip. There is absolutely no noise of any kind except a Meadowlark singing and I hear a couple of Doves off in the distance. The view is spectacular in all directions. It will be like this for another week as I paddle down the river/lake and get to Garrison Dam and I hope that is by next Thursday. This is the 3rd largest man made reservoir/lake in the US with 1,500 miles of shoreline, 6 miles wide at the widest point and 200 miles long.
One thing I am going to have to just accept is it is going to start warming up, hot in fact. I have plenty of sun screen and sun lotion and umbrellas. The umbrella I have is great for these kind camp spots where there is no shade. I also have it adapted to fit in some holders behind my seat for shade on the water. If my 2 golf umbrellas I have with me fail/break then as a last resort I can utilize this one for sailing also. I managed to go about 4 miles this afternoon without putting the paddle in the water one time and could still be going.
I was thinking of taking a nap, but it is too warm in the tent, so will probably read a little bit, something I haven’t done much of always something to do or too tired.
The one thing that I see changing with the warmer weather is my appetite. I may need to change/plan my meals differently
MAY 8 SUNDAY DAY 25 ON THE WATER – Tough day today it has been for sure. On the water by 8:30 , beautiful sunny morning, flat water, no wind or breeze. I got about 8/10 miles and the wind came up out of the East just as I was turning North and I was on the West side of the lake, which means the waves beat me to death until I got the kayak un loaded and on the bank. I finally found a “depression” about 100 yards from where I beached the kayak and that is where I have spent the day, mostly out of the wind.
0381000I did just put the tent up, got to take a nap, start a book and walked around and found limited cell service. It calls for rain tomorrow, but it sure doesn’t look like it now, not a cloud in the sky, anywhere. The wind is still blowing at it is almost 8:00. I am going to have some Top Raman and endeavor to get up early and be on the water by 6.
Normally the wind lies down as soon as the sun goes down; let’s hope that is the case once again. I have about an hour to reach what is called Independence Point which you make almost a 180 degree turn after heading North for that 2 miles and you head basically due South to the Garrison Dam which is about 60 miles from where I am at. 60 miles is a good 4 days at 15 miles per day. I can’t average much more than 2 miles per hour. If the wind were to turn behind me and blow south, I could probably manage to do 3 or 4 miles per hour with the Umbrella/Sail.
0-381000It appears it is going to take the 10 days total to do the entire Lake which would be averaging 20 miles per day. I don’t think it is a full 200 miles the way I am doing it. That 200 miles probably follows the Missouri River Channel and I cut a lot of that out by going from point to point, trying to make the shortest distance between two points a straight line.
Between the wind and the sun today, I feel like I have been in an oven, although it wasn’t that warm. I hear the Meadowlarks starting to sing their nightly song, so perhaps that means the wind is going to stop. I will do as much as I can to prepare the kayak for packing tonight so I can hopefully get on the water as fast as possible.
I have a very long ways to go to finish this trip, but I am still mentally prepared and feel up to it and for sure my physical stature feels strong and willing to do so.
There was no danger today of any kind, just another example of what I have to look forward to, a lot of windy days and they all won’t be blowing down river, whatever the direction the river is flowing. This is just part of the “adventure”.
0127000MAY 9 MONDAY DAY 26 ON THE WATER – What a beautiful morning this morning after having to endure over 16 hours of the wind yesterday, spending that time in a hole in the ground. But it worked; I slept well and awoke fresh and ready.
I was packed and headed out on smooth water by 6:30. I got across the lake to Independence Point, sat in calm waters and had yogurt and mini-wheats with orange juice. I saw a dog on the rocks, acting like he knew what he was doing; he had a collar on his neck. Also saw a deer start to swim across the lake, which was at least 3 to 4 miles the direction she was heading. When she saw me, she turned around and went back to shore, it was a Whitetail. I also saw a Muskrat, one of the few I have seen on the trip so far.
0381000I continued to paddle until approximately 11:30 and after consulting and studying the maps I bought at the Marina at 4 Bears, decided to paddle across the lake in a diagonal direction which would position me for in the morning. I normally will not head across open water that late in the day, but took my chances; it was a good 4 to 5 miles, which is a good 2 to 3 hours of paddling. I made it within a mile and the wind came up, just like it did yesterday, about the same time and it was all I could do to make it to where I wanted to camp. No fun and it is one of the few times I have ever done that.
The place I am at is pristine and very peaceful. I saw a coyote on the bank as I approach, deer browsing on the hill above the little valley, just beautiful. Once again I made the trek to where there was shelter from the wind, which gives me that walking and exercise I need after spending 8 hours in the Kayak.
I have had no cell service since Saturday around noon. But if I remember correctly, the weather called for rain Mon and Tues, and that was at Garrison Dam, which is only 3 days for me. Right now it doesn’t look threatening but it has clouded up and the temperature has dropped enough I put on a jacket and zipped my pants legs on my zipper pants.
I have already eaten dinner, had Butter Pasta with a can of tuna fish, flower tortias, a berry smoothie and Oreo cookies for desert. I also shaved and cleaned up a little bit today; I try to do that every 2 days.
I am very pleased that I am still emotional motivated and for certain physically I am doing great. At no time have I even had thoughts of how “crazy” this is, or what in the heck am I doing. Not once. I haven’t gotten down one single time or wished I was someplace else. Everyone keeps asking me how I can do this alone, but in reality there is really 5 of us at all times, Me, Myself, I, my Soul and my Spirit. There seems to constantly be a conversation going on at all times about something between somebody. Most of the time I don’t pay any attention at all, until there is an argument, disagreement and a decision needs to be made.