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The two RV Gypsies stopped in Yankton, South Dakota
August 24, 2013

The two RV Gypsies checked in at Yankton KOA before going into town. The person checking the two RV Gypsies in seemed like he was in a hurry to get the two RV Gypsies out of the office, although there was nobody else waiting to check in. Unlike all the other KOA sites the two RV Gypsies have been to, there was no golf cart escort to the site. The two RV Gypsies did not receive any paperwork about the campground with rules and regulations, check-out time, etc. The two RV Gypsies somehow got assigned to a premium site with a patio, nice picnic table, and a grill. Their site was in an area all by themselves and they loved it. The campground had cable TV, and unsecured internet access available at sites.

Below: The dirt road and the KOA sign on the side of the road, plus The KOA office & swimming pool.

the road leading to Yankton KOA in South Dakota
The KOA office & swmimming pool

A row of flowers along the fence by the office

flowers along the fence by the office
divider bar

As the two RV Gypsies were leaving the KOA campground in their truck to go into town, they saw a USA cow and Karen just had to photograph it.

a USA cow

history bookThe Meridian Highway Bridge is a bridge that formerly carried U.S. Route 81 across the Missouri River between Nebraska and South Dakota. It is a double deck bridge, with the top level having carried traffic into South Dakota from Nebraska, and the lower level having carried traffic into Nebraska from South Dakota. The dedication ceremony was held on October 11, 1924 and the bridge opened as a toll bridge. It was the last link of the Meridian Highway (which became U.S. Route 81) to be completed. It was designed for use by trains on the lower level of the bridge and vehicular traffic on the upper level; a lift mechanism allowed river traffic to pass below.

However, trains never used the lower level. In 1953, all tolls were lifted and the two levels were converted to one-way traffic, northbound on the top, southbound on the bottom. In the 1980s, the lift mechanism and counterweights were removed, and the decorative iron railings on the upper level were replaced by Jersey barricades. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

On May 9, 2008, a 10-ton gross weight limit was placed on the bridge after an inspection found corrosion on the gusset plates. It was replaced by the Discovery Bridge upon its opening on October 11, 2008, exactly 84 years after the dedication of the Meridian Highway Bridge.

With completion of the Discovery Bridge, the Meridian Bridge has been converted into a pedestrian / bike trail. The bridge is reported to be the longest pedestrian bridge connecting two states. It spans the Missouri National Recreational River, a unit of the National Park Service created under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It is 3,013 feet long and 33 feet wide.

The two RV Gypsies walked the bottom deck of the Meridian Bridge.

Meridian Highway Bridge
Meridian Highway Bridge

A photo of the Missouri River from the bridge.

the Missouri River

Then the two RV Gypsies walked around the corner and onto the upper level of the Meridian Bridge.

Meridian Highway Bridge

After walking the upper level of the bridge, the two RV Gypsies went back to the parking lot and took a photo of the Meridian bridge from the parking lot.

Lee Duquette
Meridian Highway Bridge

history book The Discovery Bridge is a bridge that carries US Route 81 across the Missouri River from the Nebraska border to the South Dakota border. The Discovery Bridge connects Yankton, South Dakota, with rural Cedar County, Nebraska. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was on October 11, 2008, a year ahead of schedule.

Construction began on the Discovery Bridge in June 2007. The bridge then opened on October 11, 2008, which was exactly 84 years after the dedication of the Meridian Highway Bridge. Now completed, the Discovery Bridge serves as a replacement for the Meridian Highway Bridge, which is about 1,000 feet downstream.

The Discovery Bridge was a finalist in the 2009 America's Transportation Awards for "representing the best in innovative management, accountability and timeliness".

The Discovery Bridge
sign about the Meridian Highway Bridge
sign about the USS Scorpion

The two RV Gypsies drove to Gavins Point Dam, a hydroelectric dam on the Missouri River in the U.S. states of Nebraska and South Dakota. Built from 1952 to 1957, it impounds Lewis and Clark Lake. The dam is on the Nebraska-South Dakota border, west of Yankton, South Dakota.

Gavins Point Dam Bridge
sign about Gavins Point Dam
Gavins Point Dam
Gavins Point Dam

Then the two RV Gypsies stopped at the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center on the Nebraska side of the dam.

the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center
the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center sign

Panoramas of the Gavin Point Dam  taken from the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center

Gavins Point Dam
Gavins Point Dam
Gavins Point Dam
Gavins Point Dam

Lee Duquette played Captain of the ship at the visitor center.

Lee Duquette playing Captain of the ship

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