Friday, July 8, 2011

Winner, SD to Pickstown, SD - 80 miles

Today was another long day in the saddle -- 90 miles, the terrain was relatively flat, but the wind was not totally in our corner. We stopped for the day in Pickstown, South Dakota, but I can't find a whole lot of information about the town.
Pickstown began as a government town for Corps of Engineers employees building and then operating The Fort Randall Dam. USAF officers and airmen arrived in the 1950s to operate a Strategic Air Command radar base built on a hill three miles east of town. Air Force personnel left in the 1970s after the base was closed. A casino and hotel owned and operated by the Yankton Sioux Tribe is located at the abandoned radar base.
We are on the Oyate Trail [pronounced oh-YAH-tay], the word 'oyate' means 'nation' in Lakota. The Oyate Trail is a trail of nations, where cultures meet.
From the east, The Oyate Trail travels through farmland and corn fields, across prairies and the Mighty Missouri River, and into the American West's rangeland. Then it skirts south of the Badlands before ending at the southern foothills of the famous Black Hills.
We are staying at the Dakota Inn

Fort Randall Dam and Lake Francis Case is located within the rolling plain of the Missouri Plateau and bordered by rugged bluffs, broken by a complex of eroded canyons and ravines. Lake Francis Case area is one of the most popular recreations spots in the Great Plains.
Fort Randall Dam lies within view of the military post from which it takes its name. The name of the original fort honored Colonel Daniel W. Randall, one-time deputy paymaster of the Army. The reservoir behind Fort Randall Dam, which is named after the former South Dakota Representative and Senator, Francis Higbee Case, extends 107 miles upstream to Big Bend Dam near Fort Thompson, South Dakota.

Tomorrow we are off to Niobrara, Nebraska however, the flooding of the Missouri River has closed some roads, so we are working out a 'Plan B' to get there.

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