10 – JOURNAL
JUNE 8 WED DAY 44 ON THE WATER – I am in Nebraska City, Nebraska at another good State boat dock and camp ground. What is nice about these is they all have good bathrooms with showers, power, grass and normally I can stay close to my kayak.
I enjoyed the break yesterday afternoon. I slept very soundly, it cooled down nicely. I was packed up and on the water at 6:45. I am going to try to make it even earlier in the morning.
They were thinking I was going to feed them. This was at the marina Monday night.
Tomorrow will start to be the beginning of in the 90’s. The wind blew up river all day, but because of the current I still managed to do 40 miles by 2:30. The State Game and Parks supt here at the park gave me a ride into town. I had a very nice lunch in a cute little place and the very nice lady there got to talking to me and offered that her and her husband would bring what I needed later if I would give her a list, which I did.
I walked back, got camp set up and have taken a couple of showers to get cooled off. Hopefully it will cool off nicely tonight like it did last night.
I am tired and somewhat lethargic, but with the heat I am not surprised. I am trying to pace myself more and more. The miles will start to wind down fairly quickly now. I have only really been in the current since last Sunday a mere 4 days.
JUNE 9 THURSDAY DAY 45 ON THE WATER – Boy oh boy, there wasn’t anything easy about the 40 miles I did today. The wind blew all day again today, only harder and straight out of the south. There were a few times the river meandered to the east and I got some relief. But it was all I could do was keep the kayak in the current and going straight.
I came on to a boat ramp and parking lot in a state park and called it a day. I am camped over out of the wind, which appears to be dying down, behind the toilet which is a good spot.
Some observations. I saw some deer today. I think there are quite a few but the foliage is so think on the banks they hide very good. There are more bald eagles than I imagined there would be. Hearing wild turkeys often. I saw only one boat today, a Corps of Engineer with 2 guys in it, and a couple guys just put in here at the boat dock. There are some very “big” people in this neck of the woods.
They had a big flood here in this area about 30 days ago. Mud and debris all over the place. This picture of this boat ramp is a good example. Just full of mud
I cooked some pasta with tuna fish and a cold bottle of milk. 1st time in quite some time I have cooked a little dinner. I took a shower last night and I walked out of the building and the camp host asked me if I would like to eat with them. I told him thanks, but I had a good lunch about 3. But, the real reason is I took a look at what was sitting with him and I couldn’t decide if it was a Woolley Mammoth he had as a pet or his wife.
The little biting black flies are everywhere, even out on the water when the wind is blowing.
I am getting a long sleeve shirt out in the morning. Guy couldn’t be doing this without a good tent like I have.
There is nothing easy about this. I surely wouldn’t advise someone to undertake this without some very definitive experience and very aware of their capabilities and knows their limitations. Anyone who knows me, knows I am very experienced and very qualified to be doing this. I am not bragging it is just a fact. But there have been a few times I have questioned my sanity, weather related only.
I have definitively decided that on the Yukon next year I am going to get a single Feathercraft for that trip and slim the gear down.
JUNE 10 FRIDAY DAY 46 ON THE WATER – I got behind a day here on the journal. By the time I fought the wind again and the heat and found a place to stop I was pooped.
JUNE 11 SATURDAY DAY 47 ON THE WATER – On the water by 6:15 since it was going to be another hot day. My goal was to stop in St. Joseph and spend the afternoon getting squared away. But it was a dirty town, no city park to stop in and the freeway had a double Decker highway going right thru it, so I went another 20 miles to Atchison, Kansas and glad I did. Great place, easy access, already went thru all my gear and been to the store and back. There is a great little restaurant called Chuck and Hank’s right in the park and they are letting me stay right next to their deck. I am getting lucky on finding good, grassy places, convenient to put the tent up. The mayor even came by and said he would let the police know who I was and why my tent was on the grass.
I should be thru Kansas City by the end of Monday or for sure Tuesday noon, then it is on to Jefferson City. Heat took its toll today, I sure hope the 1st of the week it cools down.
JUNE 12 SUNDAY DAY 48 ON THE WATER – Good paddling day all the way around. Headed down river by 6:30. Enough of a breeze to keep it cool somewhat and not too much so I could use the umbrella for shade. Well in the 90’s again today. I had a good dinner of ribs, Coleslaw and baked beans. The restaurant closed at 9 and they gave me a bag of ice.
Did just over 40 miles and stopped at 3:30 short of Kansas City, I would have a hard time getting all the way down river from the city this late in the day, it is a big city. I am obviously making good time. I am not supposed to spend the night in this park, already talked to a cop, but the park closes at 12 and opens at 5.
So I am going to just relax until dark, it will cool down, put a long sleeve shirt on, spray some bug spray on my hands and face and hope a thunderstorm doesn’t come up and sleep behind some brush, nobody will know the difference. I can just get on the water a little earlier or about the same time.
Some more observations. I have only seen 1 Osprey on this entire trip, that was on the Yellowstone. I have not seen 1 Tip nor 1 Yurt. This entire section of the river for 100’s of miles has not recovered from the flood of 2011. It is blatantly obvious people are not on the river, nor are they on the banks. Awful lot of people in this part of the country are eating way too much corn fed beef, corn on the cob with real butter and mashed potatoes and gravy.
While I was working here a quick storm came up and I had to hide out in the bathroom. Lasted only 30 minutes, then I walked into town and got a pizza, only a mile or so.