Saturday, June 5
Our RASDak adventure will begin in Pollock, a small scenic community located in north-central South Dakota on the shores of Lake Oahe, a reservoir on the Missouri River.
It is well known for its wide streets and beautiful city parks. RASDak made a lunch stop in Pollock in 2015, and we are excited to return and enjoy the great hospitality.
Sunday, June 6
Pollock to Mobridge. 36 or 54 miles.
We will be bicycling on highway 1804. Our route parallels where Lewis and Clark traveled in 1804.
For those that wish to make the short trip to the North Dakota border, you will be able to see a granite Dakota boundary maker. These 800-pound markers were located every 1/2 mile on the border, the only state line so conspicuously marked.
As we bicycle to Mobridge we will be greeted by numerous wind turbines and a spectacular view of the Missouri River. Mobridge is known for great walleye fishing, but also for the Klein Museum, and the Scherr Howe Event Center – home to 10 of Oscar Howe’s murals. Oscar Howe is a well known SD artist, who had a large influence on contemporary Native American art.
Monday, June 7
Mobridge to Gettysburg. 77 miles.
Today’s route takes us to Selby, the hometown of SD Governors George T. Mickelson, and his son, George S. Mickelson.
From there we will journey through the Blue Blanket Valley to Hoven, where we will visit the beautiful “Cathedral of the Prairies.”
Our destination is Gettysburg, also known as “Where the Battle Wasn’t.” While you’re in Gettysburg check out the Dakota Sunset Museum, which was built specifically to house the Sacred Medicine Rock.
Tuesday, June 8
Spend time at the South Dakota State Capitol, SD Cultural Heritage Center, Flaming Fountain Memorial, and Fighting Stallions Memorial.
Wednesday, June 9
Pierre to Chamberlain. 82 miles. 2759/2823 ft.
Our ride will take us along Lake Sharpe, and then on to the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. We will visit the Crow Creek Tribal School whose history dates back to 1886.
From there our journey takes us to Fort Thompson, home of the Big Bend Dam, and the tribal headquarters of the Crow Creek Sioux.
The last part of our ride will offer a view of Lake Francis Case and Chamberlain, our destination.
As we arrive in Chamberlain you will want to check out the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center. Other popular sites in Chamberlain are the Dignity Statue, the South Dakota Hall of Fame, and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive and Keelboat Center.
Thursday, June 10
Chamberlain to Platte. 54 or 75 miles. Optional route to show off more of the Missouri River.
We will head south towards the Bijou Hills, designated as a National Natural Landmark. This area was visited by Lewis and Clark in 1804.
For those wanting to do the longer route, you may get to see the burning bluffs that Lewis and Clark noted in their adventures. The bluffs aren’t actually burning, it’s a chemical reaction. However, don’t do what Captain Lewis did, he tasted the minerals and inhaled the smoke, and required sag for several days.
A more modern site is the mile-long Platte-Winner bridge, the longest bridge in South Dakota. There will also be some great views of the river along both Snake Creek and Platte Creek before we reach our destination of Platte. While in Platte be sure to check out the Cecil & Phyllis Melcher Museum.
Friday, June 11
Platte to Tyndall. 78 or 96 miles. Optional century route to show off more of the Missouri River.
Today we will pass through the land of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, home of the Ihanktonwan Nation.
We will also see our 3rd dam of the dam tour, Fort Randall. The nearby town of Pickstown was created to house the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees who built the dam.
Next, we get to enjoy the climb up radar hill, so named after the Strategic Air Command radar base that used to be located there.
Take a break after climbing the hill at the Fort Randall Casino and enjoy the hospitality of the Yankton Sioux tribe.
For those that take the longer route, you will enjoy one of the few sections of the Missouri River that are undammed and unchannelized, designated as the Missouri National Recreational River.
Our destination is Tyndall, be sure to check out Bon Homme Heritage Museum.
Saturday, June 12
Tyndall to Vermillion. 67 miles.
Our first stop will be Tabor, which will be home to the 72nd Czech Day June 18-20.
From there we will come to Lewis and Clark Reservoir, which attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year. This reservoir is formed by the last of the six Missouri River Dams, Gavins Point, which we will bicycle across to Nebraska.
We will return to South Dakota across the historic double-decker Meridian bridge, which was converted to pedestrian/bike trail traffic in 2011.
Yankton is rich in history, it was the first capital of the Dakota territories in 1861, and has 26 individual properties and 6 districts that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
From Yankton, we will continue to follow the river valley to our destination of Vermillion. It will be a great celebration as we finish our ride across South Dakota.