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 im-pressive, 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 des-tination 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 res-taurant 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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