Bicyclists face flooding frustrations while following the Lewis and Clark trail

Local News

JEFFERSON, S.D. — They decided to recreate history. But the present in South Dakota has had something to say about it.  

Parke Smith and his friend, Doug Dorff, are big on biking.  

So much so, that they came up with a plan to replicate the Lewis and Clark expedition from St. Louis, Missouri to the Oregon Coast, all on their two wheelers.  

“A trip that should take about 12 weeks,” said Smith. 

But heavy flooding has set them back. 

Smith is from Colorado, and Dorff is from Virginia. 

“Just experiencing the Midwest,” said Dorff. 

That experience has also included experiencing Midwestern weather and its effects. 

The two started their trip in St. Charles, Missouri. 

“And twice along the way we’ve had to cross flooded roads on foot,” said Smith. 

One of those roads was in Missouri, but it was the road at the Jefferson Bridge on 329th Street in South Dakota, that proved to be too dangerous with the swift moving water across the roadway. 

“Incessant rain, this Spring, has really caused us to re-look at where we stay. The intent was essentially was where to camp, but all the campgrounds are flooded or very mushy,” said Smith. 

And though the rain has made it difficult for them, Parke and Doug say, they’ll continue recalculating routes until they finally make it to their destination, safely. 

“Look for an alternative route to get to our intended path to the Northwest from here,” said Smith. 

“The people here are just absolutely incredible. The kindness that has been shown to us has been noteworthy,” said Dorff. 

The duo says they planned to head up to Westfield after abandoning the crossing near Jefferson to try and cross the Big Sioux there. 

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