Monday, June 13, 2011

Yankton Sanctum

...well let me tell you about spending the night in the Town & Country (which by the way is the top selling mini-van in the USA - just thought you'd like to know that.)

Got every thing all set up for a night in the van, had a little picnic supper, said my prayers and tucked myself in. Blissful. Slept like a night watchman at Watergate. Then came the rain. Sheets of it. Accompanied by ground-strike lighting about a half-second away, as in 500 feet. Wowsers. Fondly enough I didn't panic or anything, I just went with the flow, closed the back windows and enjoyed the show.  Dropped off to sleep again and when I was awakened again it wasn't the rain. Nor thunder.  It was the T&C rockin' and rollin' like the Titanic and reminding me of the sign on one of the nearby RV's:"When the Camper's A-Rockin' Don't Come A-Knockin'"

Well I was rockin' solo all right. Wind. In staccato gusts. Then it stopped.  Moon popped out. Calm. Dry. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Made a picnic breakfast and then hit the trail into the town of Yankton, SD. Sun came out, rain jacket came off and before you knew it I was being confronted by a Ranger who informed me that the road I just rode over the L & C Dam and Spillway was supposed to be closed and just because they were busy that morning and forgot to put the gates up didn't mean I could hang out there so please get my damn butt off the dam.  Which I did. Have a nice day.

But boy was that a neat ride over the Spillway ledge with mist billowing up and over the top - spritzing me like a spa treatment.  Anyway, the bikeway took me 5 miles into town where I actually did ride over a beautiful bridge that had a sign in the middle, Welcome to Nebraska.  Not that I didn't enjoy the nice welcome, but I just turned around and rode back over it into Yankton and, bingo....

Yankton's Ault-Brokaw Bike Trail is the sweetest urban bikeway I've ever experienced. It's well signed and takes you all over the place, like the historic homes section of town, and Paddle Wheel Point on the Missouri River.  There are lots of historical markers and informational placards along the way as well.

On the way back to the campground I stopped to reflect on how I can describe South Dakota based on my limited but robust experience.  Judging by the staff at the campground, like Ranger John who was very helpful, knowledgeable and professional, and the residents I encountered everywhere I'd have to say that best-kept-secrets are not scarce in the Dakotas.

It's tea time and I'm at a rest area (with free wi-fi!) in Iowa, en route to Carroll and the Sauk Rail Trail. Catch you later. BB

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