Missouri River Quest '07 - Page 6
I woke up this morning and for once, the sun was shining. It was cold and windy, but the
sun was shining. I packed up camp in the mud, and headed for the dam.
The wind wasn't bad for the first ten miles, but when I started across the last big bay, it
picked up. I was about a mile into a five mile crossing with three foot tall waves hitting me
in the right side. I wasn't going to make it across without tipping, so I turned and followed
the waves to a campsite about two miles into the bay. I called the Ft. Peck Marina, and
they agreed to portage me from there.
A man arrived a few minutes later with a pickup to take me first to the marina for a burger,
then to the put in below the dam. He was very nice and I gave him twenty dollars for his
trouble. It was a small price to pay for a four mile portage.
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It was a nice sunny morning. My tent was dry and I was finally able to shake off some of
the mud that has been stuck to it for a week.
I made it to the town of Wolf Point around 1:00. As I rounded the bend into town, I was
greeted by a group of four kids around twelve years old or the opposite bank. As soon as
they saw my boat, they started swearing and throwing rocks at me. I was too far away to
be in any danger, so I ignored them. They continued to swear and scream until I was out
I called my contact from work and they turned out to be great people. Randy and Nancy live
right on the river. They cooked a great barbecue dinner, and there have been friendly
people coming and going all day. They were even nice enough to wash my clothes and let
me use their shower.
I spent the afternoon fishing and drinking beer with them. I'll spend the night here and
take off in the morning. This was a great break before the big lakes of the Dakotas.
I'm over 650 miles into my trip, and all is going well, even if the weather hasn't been the
best. I hope Shawn and Kyle didn't run into any trouble on the big lake with their canoe.
The Missouri flowed crystal clear for a few miles before being joined by the muddy Milk
River. I paddled the line where the two rivers mixed. It was like flying over a thunderstorm
as I watched the chocolate brown Milk River mix with the clear Missouri.
Tomorrow, I'll be stopping in the town of Wolf Point to pick up some supplies I had mailed
there. Here's what I know about Wolf Point from my Missouri River Paddler's Handbook. In
2004, a paddler was badly beaten by a group of young toughs, and when the author
passed, he was shot at from shore. Luckily, the company I work for is supporting me on
I work for Knife River/MDU Company, and, not only are they giving me the time to take this
trip, they are also helping out along the way. Someone from the Wolf Point branch will meet
I was planning on a good early start today, but when I got up Nancy was already cooking
breakfast. There was no way I could turn down fried eggs, hash browns, and sausage.
I thanked everyone and was on the water by 8:30, only an hour behind my usual start. It
looked like rain, so I paddled hard to cover some miles before the storm hit.
The river meandered through a wide open plain with not much to look at for most of the day.
The wind was blowing hard out of the west and the clouds looked menacing throughout
the day, but it never did rain.
I passed a few people fishing and enjoying the river. They were all very nice to me and
none of them threw rocks like those little bastards in Wolf Point. I'll finally be entering North
Dakota tomorrow. I hope the people there are as nice as the ones in Montana.
Towards the end of the day, I entered some very pretty hilly country and there has been
quite a bit of wildlife around. I can hear trains in the distance from my campsite. I really
notice them after hearing only the sounds of nature for so long.
I checked my maps tonight and found that I covered over 75 miles today. All that home
cooked food did some good. I wish I could eat like that more often.