13 – JOURNAL
FRIDAY OCT 14, DAY 55 ON THE WATER – To bring this up to date. I left Havasu Landing on Thursday Oct 6. It was close to 1600 miles driving to get to Hermann, MO arriving Sunday about 1. Kenny Black who owns the bait shop and who helped me out when I had got sick met me and let me store my gear in his basement of the bait shop right at the dock. I had previously put Stormie in a dog kennel for the drive down to New Orleans and the train ride back.
I got a good 100 miles in before stopping for the night. Arrived in New Orleans about 7 that evening. Close to another 800 miles driving. Went directly to the Amtrak Station and booked my train ride back for the next day at 1. Then I went and found a Walmart to spend the night.
I left for Vincie which is about 80 miles downriver from New Orleans. About half way down I spotted a guy on the road side of the levee with all his gear spread out and a small canoe. I went back to talk to him. He started up at the Source of the Mississippi. He had gotten swamped by a Ferry the day before 1st issue he had. But he said this 80 miles just wasn’t worth it. Hard to find places to camp. Lots of river traffic consequently the water is constantly like a washing machine on wash.
So I said to myself good enough for me. I headed back to New Orleans found a park down town to get out to end the trip. With some patience found a Coffee Roasting business who let me park the camper van in an enclosed area that they lock up every night about 6 blocks from the park. Called a taxi and went to the train station to catch the train back to Hermann.
The train ride was no fun at all. Brutal. Very rough track. But arrived back in Hermann Wens about noon. Started to get my gear together. Decided not to put the kayak together until the next day. Went and got Stormie out of the Kennel, I called a shuttle service to accomplish that. She has done great with everything so far.
Thurs morning immediately decided to not leave on the water until Fri AM. Got the kayak put together and got all my gear squared away and got whatever else I needed to make sure I had everything I needed.
Frank Van Kamp who owns the Harbor House Inn made sure I got breakfast every morning with all of his guests, Hermann has a month’s long Oktoberfest.
SAT OCT 15 DAY 56 ON THE WATER – Uneventful day yesterday for the 1st day back on the trip. Very warm but noticed there was a lot less bugs if any at all. We did 40 miles this 1st day. I have endeavored to stay in shape by walking, exercising, trimming palm trees and staying physically busy. So I feel great. Found a good 1st nights camp spot, got a great night’s sleep, Stormie does amazing in and out of the boat. We did another 40 miles for the 2nd day.
SUN OCT 16 DAY 57 ON THE WATER – Got up to another beautiful day. Few mosquitos last night but not like they were in June. Plus this new tent I got is great. Lots of room and I can stand up in it.
It was only 20 miles to the Confluence of the Missouri River and the Mississippi. We arrived there about noon.
I had called Mike at Big Muddy Adventures to help me if I needed it to get thru the Chain of Rocks. After making the turn in to the Mississippi I ran into 3 folks who had rented kayaks from Mike. I followed them down to the Chain of Rocks and watched them go thru. It was no big deal. So I jumped in and headed down river. Called Mike and told him I didn’t need help. He convinced me to stop and spend the night which I did.
MONDAY OCT 17 DAY 58 ON THE RIVER – I spent Monday at Mike’s because the wind was blowing and he didn’t have time to take me to get a few things. We did manage to do that in the afternoon. I also had boxed up some things to get rid of excess stuff I wasn’t using and once again mailed it to Cam’s.
Didn’t take long and got loaded up and took off. This is right in the middle of St Louis and the harbor so there is lots of river traffic and the water is rough, there is about 15 miles of this then one is out of the harbor.
We had no issues and I decided to stop early. I hadn’t slept well at all at Mike’s the last 2 nights, I have caught a little cold and found a place about 1 and set camp up.
WENS OCTOBER 19 DAY 60 ON THE WATER – I got a good night’s sleep. Took a nap in the afternoon yesterday weather is holding up. We had no wind at all. But it is going to change. We stopped and got camp set up just in time because a thunderstorm started and blew in from the north.
THURS OCTOBER 20 DAY 61 ON THE WATER – The storm rained, lightning and thunder all night long. The wind is blowing out of the North so I have decided to stay put and just let it pass which it is supposed to this afternoon and be nice again tomorrow. One more day isn’t going to make any difference. I pulled my back yesterday getting the kayak on the water so a day of rest will be good.