Ok, where was I? Ah yes. After posting the last blog on Sunday I headed a few miles away below Gavins Point Dam on Lewis and Clark Lake to visit three campgrounds. I managed to get two.
The weather was not being friendly again. That is the dam to the right. Right before you reach it is Pierson Ranch RA.
This was the first campground built in the area after the Missouri River was dammed. Only 67 sites but it has tennis courts and a nice day use area.
The sites are big and so were the raindrops that started to fall.
About a mile below the dam is Chief White Crane RA.
The colored pine needles look like the popcorn balls some people put on Christmas trees. I continued onward, walking the campground with my trusty umbrella.
Chief White Crane is on the south side of Lake Yankton, the afterbay below the dam, while Pierson Ranch is across the street from the lake on the east side.
Quite a few sites here are lakefront.
Both campgrounds share the boat ramp and the lake.
Immediately after this photo the skies opened up and the rain started pouring down again. I headed back to camp at Lewis and Clark.
The Missouri River south of the dam is designated a National Wild Recreation River or something like that for about 40 miles. Meaning there is no development allowed and it looks like it did back in 1804 when Bill and Meri passed by. In fact, Chief White Crane was the first Indian they encountered after leaving Kansas City. They met at the spot where the campground is now located.
I headed out Monday morning. I planned to spend a few days in the Spirit Lake area of Iowa before going to Minnesota. Again, Iowa let me down. I am not going to disparage a State's parks but they need to do better. That sentiment was echoed to me by the campers I met when I continued on that same day to the land of 10,000 lakes.
200 miles after leaving Lewis and Clark RA in SD I ended up at Lake Shetek State Park in Minnesota.
I arrived late, around 5:30pm, so I didn't set anything up.
Just parked, ate a sandwich, and went to bed. Tuesday morning was beautiful. I walked around for a little bit.
There are houses alongside the lake outside the park. A popular area for summer homes.
An old settler's cabin is right next to the campground.
I could live there. There is also an island you can walk to. Think about that. Loon Island.
You just walk over the convenient path they built. There is a boat ramp and canoe rentals.
Looking at my Minnesota State Parks book I think they all offer canoe rentals. I will definitely take advantage of that.
But what I needed right now was a place to hang out for the holiday weekend. I left Tuesday and headed to Camden State Park.
At Minnesota State Parks about 2/3's of the sites are reservable, which is why I wanted to snag one of the non-reservable ones before the weekend. I found a good spot, #35. They had snow here just a few weeks ago so the grass had not been cut yet. I was talking with Bill, the park manager, (he also manages Lake Shetek), and told him I was going to set up my screen house and maybe they would want to mow my site before I did since I was the only one there so far.
And they did.
Here is a better (somewhat), look.
Just my campsite. I had to put up the screen house because the forecast was for, you guessed it, thunderstorms throughout the weekend.
And I needed a place to cook...
Rain started pouring on Tuesday night and continued all day Wednesday. No big deal. It was time to do laundry anyway. I mean, you can only turn your underwear inside out and backwards so many times. When you take your socks off and they retain the shape of your foot and try to walk off on their own, yep, laundry time. So that was Wednesday in Marshall, Minnesota.
The forecast was for Thursday sunshine. And it was. So I made some soup for breakfast, something hot and chickeny.
Yep. Made the color a wee bit redder than normal.
The trick to using soup crackers is to add just a few at a time and scoop them up right away. Keeps 'em crunchy.
After breakfast I took a shower. The only reason I mention this is because of the actual shower itself. Not because I really needed one. (OK, I did)
Here is the entrance to an individual shower.
And the stall.
I think I will like the next two months in Minnesota.
I skipped back to my campsite and took a photo while the sun was out.
Yeah, Baby! This is what I like. 80 degrees. Sunny. Time to walk around. There is a path right behind my campsite that leads to the Redwood River.
300 yards away is the swimming hole.
With a bridge to the picnic area.
The river was a little off-colored due to the rains, but it is stocked with brown trout. I might have to find some fishing gear because I forgot my trout tackle at home.
Two miles south of the campground is a lake where you can rent paddleboats and, yes, canoes.
My good friend, let's call him EE, noticed in my last blog post that I used habanero salsa on my tacos. That's why I featured it kinda predominately in this one. But I will go a step further. What else do I have laying around?
What else? Wait, there is a robin yanking a fat worm from the ground right next to me. Maybe I can scare him off and try that...
Regards, Park Ranger