I am certain North Dakota has plenty of beautiful spots, but here I am almost to Montana and I hadn’t come across any of them. After spotting my first oil derrick of the trip, I came across this scene. The next few miles definitely made up for the last few boring weeks.
Today I reached the area where the Corps of Discovery established Fort Mandan, which was their winter camp from 2 November 1804 to 7 April 1805. “The huts were in two rows, containing four rooms each, and joined at one end forming an angle,” wrote Sgt. Patrick Gass. “When rasied [sic] about 7 feet high a floor of puncheons or split plank were laid, and covered with grass and clay; which made a warm loft. The upper part projected a foot over and the roofs were made shed-fashion, rising from the inner side, and making the outer wall about 18 feet high. The part not inclosed by the huts we intended to picket. In the angle formed by the two rows of huts we built two rooms, for holding our provisions and stores.”
Ok, maybe this isn’t technically classified as badlands, which French traders would have called mauvaises terres pour traverser (French for “bad lands to cross”) in Lewis and Clark’s day, but it was exciting to see scenery I haven’t come across before.
Here I am just northwest of Huff, North Dakota, the Missouri River winding just out of view to the right. Lewis and Clark passed through this region 215 years ago — nearly to the day. Continue reading “Lewis and Clark Ride: It’s beginning to look a lot like badlands”