Along the Lewis & Clark Trail travel blog

Kayaks ready to launch

Lake Hibble

Bighorn sheep at Badlands NP


More Badlands

Bison at Badlands

We kayaked today on Lake Hibble, looking for the monument to Lewis and Clark that was erected in the 1930s by the CCC. It is no longer accessible by land (this is east of Pierre, S.Dak.). We found it, too, or at least we think we did—a pyramid-shaped brick structure—the plaque was missing but the monument is on the map in the location we found it. It has managed to somehow survive the many floods of the Missouri since the 30s.

We were out on the lake very early and it was calm and beautiful—the lake adjoins the Missouri and of course does not have the same current, but the scenery was probably much like what the Corps of Discovery saw as they went up the Missouri.

After that nice day start to the day things just got better. We haven’t given up on our goal to visit all of the National Parks in the U.S., eventually. There are two fairly close ones here—Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks. We took back roads to our present campground at White River near Badlands National Park. We’re noticing lots of Harleys (and incredibly, a Honda 90) going to and from the Harley Week at Sturgis, South Dakota. We expected this before our trip. We’re about 100 miles from Sturgis, but they were expecting 500,000 people at this event so it’s not surprising so many are on some of the routes we are.

At any rate, we stopped at the Visitor Center at Badlands NP to get an overview of the lay of the land, and then in the evening toured the Park on a loop road. We saw a herd of Bison, 3 pronghorns bounding along and several Bighorn Sheep. The Badlands are hard to describe—so barren, rocky, dry—but with some beautiful and lush tracts along the creeks. Sage Creek Valley was a pretty green spot that was very appealing..

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