We arrived at a nearby spot called called Farm Island Recreation Area and quickly got in a canoe. The landscape was different, which excited me, and the clouds parted for a sunny afternoon. We spent the first hour lazily enjoying the wildlife but quickly decided to push for the open Missouri River. It ended up being a good little workout as we cruised well past what I guess were the buoys indicating our (incredibly tiny) allowed range of paddling. We were off to the unknown and had a great time constantly thinking we had reached the opening into the Missouri and constantly being disappointed. I can't help but think this feeling was routinely felt by the Corps of Discovery 210 years ago. When we reached the Missouri the joy and sense of accomplishment and excitement was pretty palpable. We took some pics, Knak drank directly from the Missouri, and we had to hustle back before our three hour rental time was up.
After a really rewarding evening, I woke at midnight to a wide open field of stars and again just before 5 in the morning to watch the sunrise. The grass was quite wet so after a few hours of breakfast and waiting we took off for a distant ridge. We were lucky enough to get a better look at some birds and some pronghorn antelope that darted away. They were cruising, but nowhere near their maximum speed of 70 mph. Apparently, they're the fastest mammal in North America.
We packed up just in time for the rain to start, but when we got to Pierre it was a ghost town. It's striking to observe the cultural differences regionally, as I'd imagine MOST people were spending the morning doing the religious thing. The idea that a coffee shop/breakfast spot would be closed on a Sunday morning is mind-boggling to me, but clearly not to others. Due to not having anywhere to set up we headed for Wall Drug and are scouting a spot to sleep tonight. Pics may be slow to upload today but hopefully we'll get a bunch of great shots up soon of the best night yet.