Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bus lagged

We are at the Army Corps of Engineers "North Shore Recreation Area" on Lake Sharpe, just upstream of the Big Bend dam near Fort Thompson, South Dakota (map). There are 24 sites here, most with fire rings and a handful with picnic tables; a few even overlook the lake. The campground is free, and even so, it was not full last night, even on Saturday. We guess most of the other campers to be fishermen, and quite a few have boats on trailers in their sites.

It was hot when we arrived yesterday, in the 90s, and our first stop was the Left Tailrace campground on the other side of the dam, where our guide said there was electric power for a fee of $14. When we drove through, however, we found the campground closed, and only the boat ramp open. We learned later that the campground was closed after damage from the 2011 floods, and will not reopen until repairs are effected sometime this year. Instead we ran the generator a couple hours to keep the air conditioning on for the hottest part of the afternoon.

We ended up staying along the I-90 corridor most of yesterday, rather than continuing north to US-14 into Pierre. The US-14 route was 50 miles longer and we did not figure the scenery to be much different, plus the road I had originally hoped would take us to 14 turned out to be dirt. Instead we turned east on SD-16, which is really the I-90 service road, and by the time we got to the next paved road north, we decided to just continue east all the way to SD-47, which brought us here.

There are really only three ways across the Missouri that made any sense for us: the I-90 bridge south of here, the US-14 bridge between Fort Pierre and Pierre north of here, and SD-47 which crosses atop the Big Bend dam. This crossing is more or less at the same latitude as our destination of Madison, and it will be a straight shot from here today on SD-34.

We crossed into Central Time yesterday, and we had just gotten used to Mountain Time. This morning we both had trouble getting up. We've already set at least one morning appointment for later in the week, so I'm hoping we'll be more caught up with the clock by then. Today will be something of a late start, but we should be within striking distance of Madison this evening.

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