River Rollin’ Rerun 17: Volume 2, Blog #1

River Rollin’ Rerun 2017 – Occasional Blogs From the River


Missouri River October Sunrise – Pierre/Fort Pierre, SD

Taken on October 14, 2017 from the deck of my motel room in Ft. Pierre, SD.  Pierre (SD’s Capital) is just across the River (which also serves as a time zone line!).  The River here is a part of Lake Sharpe, nestled between Lake Oahe to the north and Lake Francis Case to the south*.  For a couple of shots of the River further north near Bismarck ND, see Bismarck.River

From the Rollin’ Down the River Collection

*Not unlike Lake Taneycomo in Branson!


October in the Dakotas

I was well into my planning of this trip before the obvious dawned on me:  “Hey, I’m heading into the Dakotas in October and October is not August!”  DUH.  I began checking 10-day forecasts at least 12 – 15 days out!!  I’ve been lucky, I guess.  It’s been chilly at times (below freezing 2 or 3 times, hard frost Saturday night), but not too cold or nasty for this short trip back to the Dakotas.  It’s been fun to be back out on the ‘River Road’ again, but it’s been a different trip, even from the earlier return in July/Aug.  I’m still sorting through a variety of impressions and a lesson or two.

Speaking of lessons, as an aside, I think this may be one, but I haven’t quite categorized it yet.  Wednesday in Bismarck, I had a TV station show up for an interview near the during my Barnes/Noble signing on my last day in Bismarck.  I remember thinking “not much publicity help here, now that all my Bismarck events are done!”.  Thursday, around noon, having moved on, I pulled into Mobridge, SD, over a hundred miles south.  I happened to return to a museum (featured in the book) to see if they want to buy a book.  I set the book on the counter and before I could begin, the gal said “Hey, I saw this book on TV last night!”  She bought 3 books.  


Wild Cards

Krazy Pic 1 I’m suspicious of this Historical Marker. I suppose this is possible, but does anyone have any evidence this actually ever happens?  🙂

Krazy Pic 2  And the “Understatment of the Week” Award goes to . . .

Art in the Alley – A Year Later!  Last year, while in Bismarck, I was introduced to Alley 5.5  – Art in the Alley.  Alley 5.5 is/was a unique partnership between the 2016 Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program and the Dakota West Arts Council. When I was there in 2016, the Project was just beginning.  What a difference a year makes!!  Here are some fun Before&After shots, showing the progress in one year.

The Wreck of the Steamboat Bertrand  Just before the end of the Civil War, in April 1865, this steamboat hit a snag and sank, north of present-day Omaha.  Much of the steamboat’s cargo is now on display near Blair, NE, and I somehow missed it last summer.  See a half-dozen photos and some history here.  (You may remember a similar story of the Steamboat Arabia, now on display in Kansas City.)

The Real Basic Skills  The author of a recent Letter to the Editor really ripped into me for my opinions that arithmetic skills are not as necessary as they used to be, and that math & arithmetic are not the same.  This seems to bring up an interesting question:  What are ‘basic skills’ anyway?  These thoughts are appearing as this morning’s News-Leader column.


Quote for the Week

I have not been on any river that has more of a distinctive personality than does the Missouri River.  It’s a river that immediately presents to the traveler, ‘I am a grandfather spirit.  I have a source; I have a life.’

William Least Heat Moon

Photo of the Week – Oct 2, 2017

Missouri River at Ft. Benton, MT

The River is deceptively shallow in this stretch. I saw a deer bound all the way across one morning – never even got up to its ‘knees’ !   Taken on Aug 9, 2017. (Am I the only one who thinks the three small clouds above yonder peak look like smoke signals?)

For a few more shots from different angles on this beautiful day, see FtBentonRiver2.

From the Rollin’ Down the River Collection

October Notes and Updates

As we move into the Fall, here’s a quick look at some updates and notes:

1.  Back to the River  I leave to head north again later this week – probably on Friday.  I’ll be gone 10 – 12 days, and will focus mostly on the Dakotas, as I revisit old friends and familiar places – and try to sell some books!  For those that might be interested, here is my Fall ’17 River Schedule.

2. October Mailings  As you’ve experienced, River blog timings are unpredictable, so I won’t try to guess, but I suspect I’ll manage to get at least one or two sent out in early/mid October.  After I return this time (around the 18th?), there will likely only be ONE ‘regular’ mailing, either on the 23rd or 30th.  I’ll keep you posted on schedules into November and beyond.

3.  Is that Christmas around the corner?   As you begin to think about Christmas presents for your friends and loved ones, can you guess what I might be recommending?  🙂  Keep the idea of a Rollin’ Donw the River in the back  of your mind and watch for upcoming special editions, discounts, and more!

Wild Cards! – Oct 2, 2017

Apparently, the Krazy Pic Theme today is water-slides:

Krazy Pic 1  Dog wants to join fun.  Dog wishes he hadn’t.  Dog sets distance record.

Krazy Pic 2  Things started bad for this guy, and went south from there.   No water-slides were hurt in the filming of this incident. [There is NO truth to the rumor this is me, though I can see why one might think that]. 

Blast from the Past #1  Remember Aunt Edna?!?  Here’s the nugget of wisdom she had for us in June ’15

Blast from the Past #2  Remember It Could Be Verse?!?  Here’s one of my favorites, posted in April ’16.

Stop the Presses!  Just sent to me this weekend, and it’s hilarious, so I’m throwing it it:  God’s Plan for Aging.    (Thanks to brother-in-law Carl Garrett.)

October Birthdays  Here is our list of known subscriber birthdays for October.  Please let us know if you should be on this list.  

Back to the Future  How do we prepare our students to learn the skills they need for their future professions, and still allow them to make the necessary mistakes that allow them to learn those skills in the process?  Some follow up thoughts to the last blog.  Today’s column in the Springfield News-Leader.

Photo of the Week – Sep 18, 2017

Early Missouri River Beauty

Similar shots were probably posted last year – and are in the book, as well.  This one was taken this past August 10 on my first Return Trip (and Pat was urging me to ‘stop and take this shot’! 🙂  I loved seeing the River again through her eyes! ). Location is between Three Forks and Helena, MT.  Enjoy a couple of other views of this stretch of River, as well.

From the Rollin’ Down the River Collection