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