11 – JOURNAL
JUNE 13 MONDAY DAY 49 ON THE WATER – What a terrible night I had last night the1st one, considering all of the river miles, wind, storms, mud and challenges I have been faced with. If one remembers in the last journal, the last day Sunday, yesterday I mentioned the cop that said I couldn’t stay in the park, there was no camping and it was closed from 12 to 5AM.
Well I was tired and I wasn’t going any further. So I weathered the quick storm that blew thru. Walked into Parkville and got a good Veggie Pizza in the cute little town and went back and waited for it to get dark.
I put my pad and bag in a little depression not far from the boat ramp, left the kayak and rest of the gear at the ramp and laid down, that was about 10. I of course couldn’t get to sleep, worried about the cop. Sure enough he shows up at 1:30, sees my kayak and gear are still there and starts looking for me. Why he didn’t come my way I don’t know. Finally, he gives up and sure enough he is back at 3:30 with his flashlight looking for me once again. So, I got no sleep at all. That is a tough thing when you are working as hard as I am. That will never happen again.
I left the dock at 5 well before the sun came up. I was going thru Kansas City by 6:30, on the other side by 9.
I had made another box of miscellaneous stuff I wasn’t using and had plans to mail it to Cam’s at the Post Office in Missouri City, MO. As I approached the town, it turned out there was no access to the town, up on the bank to the north. None. So I stopped about ½ mile down river, tied up and grabbed the bag and my walking stick and headed up the bank. What a mistake. I had only shorts and low top tennis shoes on. I cut my legs all to hell, the needles killed me and the mosquitoes were as thick as I have seen. It was too late, but I should have zipped my pants on and put my river boots on. Huge mistake.
Once thru the brush I piled some rocks up on the rail road track so I knew exactly where I came out and headed back to town. Once in town I see some folks working in their yard and painting their house. I asked where the Post Office was and where the store was. Two quick answers. PO closes at 10. It is about 11. There is no store. One quick question from them. You look like you are about ready to faint do you want a cold glass of water? One quick answer. Yes. My 2nd mistake was I didn’t take a bottle of water with me.
Once they understood what I was doing they offered to take me to the next town so I could go to the PO and get a few things at the store. They were out of beer so it worked for both of us. The PO was 8 miles. It was closed for lunch from 11 to 1, it is noon. They don’t want to wait so we drive to the next town, which is larger and I get the stuff mailed and get what I need at Walt Mart get lucky and get to have a Veggie Subway on the way back. Great guys, they were brothers been there in that little town all their lives. One was a union scaffold erector, worked all over and not sure what the other one did. They dropped me off right where the pile of rocks was and I got to tear the hell out of my legs for a 2nd time. It will take weeks for them to heal. I will have to really be careful and make sure I don’t get any infections from this river water.
They told me there was a boat ramp about 2 miles down river and that is where I ended up. Good spot. It was quiet but a ton of mosquitoes, fortunately the tent was in the shade and it finally cooled down. A few people came by, but once I cooled down ingot to sleep.
JUNE 14 TUESDAY DAY 50 ON THE WATER – Last night worked out well. I woke up refreshed and made up for the nights lost sleep. Another good day of paddling, 40 plus miles. I could go 50 plus but by 4 I am beat and my butt is tired. I did stop and get out, had a cold coke, some crackers, summer sausage, carrots and dip. Then headed back down river. I stopped here in Waverly, MO to get more ice, another gallon of water and more drinks. I have decided to just stay here, there is good shade, won’t be that quiet with the bridge over the river and the rail road track but once again I just don’t want to fight the sun, the wind… even though it is blowing down river and worry about finding a good place to camp. I will just have to tune the traffic noise out and the trains don’t bother me.
I caught a ride to the store easily and one of the clerks gave me a ride back. A guy by the name of Robin Kalthoff just stopped by, I have heard of him. Big time paddler, canoeist on the Missouri. Nice to have a contact if I need anything or help as I get down river.
JUNE 15 WEDNESDAY DAY 51 ON THE WATER – The place I stayed at in Waverly, MO turned out to be just fine. Nobody came to the dock after dark and only 2 trains came by and the traffic on the road/bridge stopped after dark also. So I slept pretty good. I was up and on the river just after the sun got on the water.
I paddled close to 65 miles today. Everything just fell in to place. The current stayed strong. There was a breeze blowing down river most of the time, I stayed in the current and got to use the umbrella all day long for shade. I am in a little river town called Glasgow, MO. I got here about 6 and immediately walked into town and got an appetizer of chicken gizzards and liver, a small steak and baked potato. I did order a side of steamed vegetables but didn’t eat them, I saw the cook go out back and I think she picked them out of the garden and threw them on the plate. Wasn’t bad over all. Only restaurant in town and it was packed. No question I have had lots of opportunities to see a lot of little towns along the rivers.
I am staying in the park, lots of grass, just got a shower and shave and well put some clean shorts and shirt on in the morning. The grocery store closed at 7 but opens at 7 so I will still be on the water by 8. I don’t plan on going as far tomorrow, although I feel pretty good all things considered.
I will be about 180/170 miles tomorrow end of day from St Louis. So I am getting within days. It is my intention to just keep right on going to Cairo, Illinois and stop there and reorganize, clean things and stock up form final push to Baton Rouge. In was told of an alternative route down to the gulf. I have read about it and might contemplate it, weather being I think the determining factor.
JUNE 16 THURSDAY DAY 52 ON THE WATER – The stopover in Glasgow was a good one. I slept good. I was at the store waiting for it to open right at 7. Once I got what I wanted I asked if there was any place in town to get some breakfast. The guy told me a bakery had some breakfast things. Ism pretty sure it was bakery not breakfast that made the decision. I took the things I bought back to the kayak, got it ready and walked back into town and sure enough I had a good breakfast burrito and a sticky bun. I was headed down river by 8:30.
I went another good 40 miles plus. I had a difficult time for some reason finding a place or the night. I finally settled on a spot I had to climb up the bank and it wasn’t 30 feet from the rail road track. Tons of mosquitoes and some breeze. Once I got the tent up and the bed up I just sat in the chair and took at least an hour to cool off. Keep in mind I am paddling in 90 degrees plus heat and have been foe days and it looks like it is going to continue thins way for another good 10 days.
Everything is dirty. The boat, he inside of them boat, everything. Even though I took a shower just 2 nights ago I and my clothes smell like sour river water. This won’t change as long as it stays hot. Tough.