Sisseton, South Dakota
Dread. That is the overwhelming feeling I have at the beginning of a trip like this. Guilt.
I am overcome by a feeling of uneasiness. Being irresponsible. It begins to pass as I get my rhythm. My confidence slowly begins to return as I reassure myself that I can fulfill all the requirements of earning a living while on the road. I dont need the office. My van is the office, or in this case, a picnic table amongst a city park full of kids hitting golf balls and teeter-tottering in Sisseton, South Dakota.
Last night in Big Stone Lake State Park the mosquitoes were overpowering. And the gnats. Biting. Blood everywhere. Through my sweat-soaked t-shirt. My ears. The backs of my hands. It was time to drag out the tent and escape. HAH! I forgot the tent. Amazing.(I once forgot the paddles on a canoe trip.) I was forced to depend on the mosquito coils.
After being enlightened rather tersely by the cashier of the Dairy Mart in Dassel, Minnesota, that the town is a "dry town", I noted this sign in a window directly across the street. I assume there is also a curfew.
You gotta love such a practical vehicle
|They were inadequate. I cowered beneath a flannel
sheet all night. Sweating. Clouds of frustrated
mosquitoes. Each with their own individual whine inches
away. I settled in for a fitful sleep. Unconvinced the
coils were not affecting some sort of repellence, I
changed them sometime around two. But I did manage to eke
out some sort of Zen rest.
This morning in Sisseton, I searched for a large piece of mosquito netting or cheese cloth.
Nothing. I will construct a tropical mosquito tent if possible.
The first couple days of traveling, besides discovering what was forgotten, is spent verifying my operating systems. The 12 volt converter, (converting 12 volts to 110) which I had planned on allowing me to use my computer and scanner in the van, on the road, only works with the engine running. It was SUCH a great idea. So much for the quiet of the wilderness, the singing of the birds, the babbling of a mountain stream being my office environment. So no hooking up a nice, big, clamp-on reading light. Its appearing to be more like camping all the time.
The North/South Continental Divide
Here on the western border of Minnesota is the exact point where the Red River flows north to Hudson Bay and the Minnesota River south to the Mississippi. I want to know:
is there anywhere else on Earth where from one body of fresh water rivers flow to different oceans? Readers? Do you imagine when the French fur traders, after paddling for weeks upstream on the Red River were able to say, "Just a little longer, men then its all downstream." as they neared the Minnesota River?
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