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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Disappointment in Yankton

I chose Yankton as a destination because thanks to watching "Deadwood" on HBO I knew that it used to be the capital of the Dakota Territory and I thought there might be some interesting history to be had.  It also had an extensive array of campgrounds lining the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area on the Nebraska/South Dakota border, some South Dakota State Park owned and some owned by the Corps of Engineers.

Our campground nestled behind the trees on Lake Yankton as seen from the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center
The Corps of Engineers campground was nice, as usual.  But once we got to Yankton and drove around to scout things out it didn't take long to realize that the only thing to do was fish.  I don't fish, and Wayne didn't bring a pole along.  Hmm.

Cottonwood COE Campground is technically in Nebraska

There is a series of bike trails, but most of the trail system runs along a major highway.  We headed out of the campground and headed toward Gavins Point Dam where Wayne stopped to ask how the fishing was.  We also cycled through the Chief White Crane Rec Area for a bit.  Really nice campground over there too.  As for the's a dam.  It takes five minutes to look at, right?  The power plant gives tours on certain days, but we decided not to stick around an extra day just for that.

Gavins Point Dam
On another day we rode our bikes over to the Fish Hatchery.  They had a little aquarium where we got to see some lake fish and turtles.

From there we rode out to the hatchery's ponds, most of which were empty.  I got off my bike and tried to shoot some of the dragonflies zipping about but it seemed like they had all enjoyed some dragonfly version of morning espresso and I had to settle for just watching them while Wayne circled the ponds.

August in the Midwest is hot and full of ragweed (was not thinking about that when I planned this trip) and I was suffering every time we went outside so we left Yankton 2 days early. It was okay as a stopover place for a day or two, but if you're not a fisherman you'll quickly run out of things to do. Tomorrow I'll tell you about how we spent our day there in the rain.  Happy 93rd birthday to Wayne's mom Nellie today!


  1. Used to fish as a kid but now I could not think of anything more boreing.

  2. Yep - your photos look very familiar. I've made many trips to Yankton visiting in-laws, and if you're not a fisherman it's not a very exciting place.

  3. Not every place can be perfect but it sounds like the two of you made the most of it!..even with the 'ragweed'!

  4. I don't think I have yet been disappointed with a ACE campground, plus I get the old persons discount at half off the going camping rate.