Wednesday, June 20, 2018

HWY83 - Day 9 - Standing Rock, Sitting Bull, Mandans on the Missouri
Rode to the Sitting Bull Monument this morning.  Chief Sitting Bull, or Tatanka Iyotake, was a Hunkpapa Teton Sioux spiritual leader. In the 1870s, Sitting Bull had relocated to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.  He became a great spiritual leader and organized a resistance movement against US expansion on treaty-reserved lands. On December 15, 1890, nine years after surrendering to the US government, he was shot to death by government police.  The police had been executing an arrest warrant in order to prevent Sitting Bull from attending a Ghost Dance ceremony.  The location overlooks the Missouri River. Quiet, peaceful, overlooking the country he loved.
Clear skies and dry pavement were my companions today.  Leathers finally beginning to dry out.  Into North Dakota sections of the original two laner share the true feeling of the original road.  Passed through Strasbury,  home of a bandleader and musician who became a household name with his popular TV show in the 1950's, Lawrence Welk. 
At Washburn turned west to meet the Missouri River.  The Mandan people, who lived along the river, provided food, supplies, and shelter for Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery.  Fort Mandan was built in 1804 and the men of the Corps wintered over there until April of 1805.  Lewis and Clark met Sakakawea at Fort Mandan.  It was here the Corp made their final preparations for the push into the unknown American West toward the Pacific Ocean.
Met Charles, a recent college history grad and park ranger at Fort Mandan.  "We're not too busy at the moment.  If you like I'd be happy to provide you with a personal tour of the Fort.  It is build of local cottonwood trees.  This is a reproduction.  The original fort was built down river from the Mandan and Hidatsa villages.  The exact location of the original fort has been lost.  It is most likely covered by the Missouri River now.  This replica was built in 1972."  Nice to have a personal local expert to share the history.
Pulled up to the Coal Country inn to check on a room for the night.  Unique, industrial type of motel...discovered it was set up for working crews at the local coal power plant.  Complete with it's own store, cafe, and laundry.  Took my boots off as instructed.

Kickstand down at the Coal Country Inn, Stanton, ND. 240 miles

be strong, be safe, Talon

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