Yipes, it’s a late on tonight.
A big day. Three dams and approx. 400 miles.
Started in Mobridge, SD. (Left my pillow behind in the motel — not a good start)
Then missed the first turn. From hwy 12 to hwy 83. But I found this in the little turn around…
Click on the image to read the full text. It’s worth it.
The day warmed up quickly. It was 83 degrees when I reached Oahe Dam at 1:30.
The intakes for the power house are stuck out in the lake.
You can see the power house (one of them — there are eight cylinders) and the transformers.
Big Bend Dam
The second dam of the day was Big Bend Dam. Another Army Corps of Engineers dam on the Missouri. You’ll notice a family resemblance between all of today’s dams.
Here’s a lakeside view of the spillway gates.
And here’s what the back side of one of those gates looks like.
It was 4:30 when I finished up at Big Bend. I haven’t had a chance to take photographs at either down or dusk. Dawn isn’t going to happen — not a morning person. Dusk on the other hand… The Fort Randall Dam was just about the right distance (100 miles — more or less) and the timing would be right for some interesting light.
Fort Randall Dam
Yes the light was good. Here’s the lakeside of the spillway.
Unlike most of the dams I’ve visited so far this one has sidewalks along part of the road that crosses the dam. I walked out. I was surrounded birds, swallows. Thousands of swallows. They’re nesting in the support structure above the spillway. And 7:30 in the evening is the perfect time for bug hunting. I spent half an hour watching them wheel around me.
Random thoughts from the road today:
I spent 4.5 miles on I-90 today. I remember what I like about interstates. Quality pavement.
Pheasants continue to pursue the honor of committing suicide by Mercedes-Benz. I continue to deny them.
After 1000 miles of cows I saw some sheep today.
Some of the things folks are driving in the fields around here don’t fit on the road. Not even with shoulders. My car is really little. Tractor drivers always wave.
The little town of Platte, SD is very much alive. All the store fronts are occupied and none of the gas stations are abandoned. I have hope for this country.
View It’s a Big Dam Country — Day 5 in a larger map