I might preface this post by letting you know that Dave told us we could see the Black Hills from this I-90 rest stop overlooking the Missouri River and Chamberlain. but don’t hold that against me.
on the drive from Sioux Falls to the Black Hills, we stopped at a rest area that overlooks Chamberlain and the Missouri River and boasts a decent interpretive exhibit on the Lewis & Clark expeditions. growing up with more intimate knowledge of both the Wisconsin & Mississippi Rivers (not to mention many, many smaller rivers throughout Wisconsin), I didn’t know much about the Missouri before Dave enlightened us. the other Mighty Miss officially flows some 2,341 miles and, by virtue of being mapped second, is a “tributary” to the Great Muddy. it’s the longest in North America, but only the 13th by discharge and spans 10 states and 2 Canadian provinces. according to Dave, however, the volume of water flowing from the Missouri into the Mississippi lends credence to the argument that the latter is actually a tributary of the former, rather than how matters currently stand. some of the natural length of the Missouri has been cut as meanders were circumvented to make the river more navigable. at Chamberlain, where we saw it, the river was dammed but doesn’t bulk up the river much in terms of width.
while the Lewis & Clark exhibit was informative, it wasn’t anything that tripped my fancy. mostly I remember the keel of a replica boat sticking half-way out the second floor of the rest area, providing a view of the River and a sense of how small the boat was for 20 or 30 men traveling together during this stretch of river.