Day 32: Crossing the Missouri

October 4, 2002
Winner to Corsica 
78 Miles Google Map

The wind gods were with me starting out, so I initially made good time before encountering more of the “thump-thump” pavement outside of Weirder…I mean Winner. But that soon disappeared and I passed through narrow valleys adorned with patches of autumn red and gold.

When I got my first look at the Missouri River, my mouth dropped. It’s so wide, my Seattle senses briefly insisted it was a long lake (which is partially true due to the Fort Randall Dam downstream). Still, it’s impressive, cutting channels over the millennia through the center of a vast continent. I made a stop on the mile-long bridge (where the wind nearly toppled me) and tried to imagine the Lewis & Clark Expedition passing by, struggling to make their way upriver to the Mandan village before the cold plains winter set in. I too am earnestly trying to reach a special destination before the season changes. 

Beyond the Missouri the land is transformed, greening and flattening out. Trees begin crowding the landscape. The towns seem healthier as well, with more businesses, a home-grown eatery, and of course the signature grain elevator. I was able to have lunch at an honest-to-goodness restaurant instead of off to the side of some lonely highway or at a fast food chain. The generous taco salad I consumed helped power me the final twenty-five miles.

The Parkway Motel I’m at is very simple and well-kept. The husband of the owning couple used to be the mayor of this tiny town. Seems to be an agreeable fellow and it’s a shame he’s been tied up trying to get some kind of credit card verification process working. I think he’d have some entertaining stories. 

And I love Corsica! Maybe eight by eight square blocks, it reminds me of a smaller version of the Iowa towns I grew up in. Spent an hour strolling about exploring it, ending up at a park back next to the motel where I was treated to a gorgeous prairie sunset. 

It’s amazing how dramatically one’s fortunes can change on a bike trip. Two days ago I was trapped in a painful, depressed state. Then yesterday it was Bizzaro World. Today, I feel I have come home.

Distances
    Today:          78 Miles 
    To Date:  1,583 Miles / 2,548 Kilometers

SDMissouriRivCross

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