15 – JOURNAL
FRIDAY OCTOBER 28 DAY 67 ON THE WATER – I am a couple days behind on doing this journal. On Friday I stopped in Caruthersville, MO and got stocked up again. I had missed the boat ramp and tied up down river about 100 yards not knowing yet where I was in relationship to the town. You can never tell because you are below the dikes.
After asking a few people where the grocery store was I ended up walking to the Wal Mart about a mile and half. Unfortunately none of them mentioned it was a store with no groceries. So we ended up walking another mile to the grocery store. Stormy does real good on her chain. She never pulls on me and when I tie her up while I am in the store she just sits there and never whines or barks. She is either a natural or somebody trained her very well.
I got a ride back to the boat ramp from a young girl in the check out line. I unloaded stuff and then went up and got the kayak and paddled it back up river to the ramp. Not easy to do when there is current.
Once I was all packed up we went up to the city park and plugged in the phone and this notebook and rested for a couple of hours while they charged up, then we were off down river.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 29 DAY 68 ON THE WATER – We woke up to another beautiful morning. I cannot believe how lucky we are on the weather and the difference it is making. It looks like we are good all the way to Vicksburg. I am still trying to do 30 to 40 miles per day. The river traffic doesn’t bother me anymore, I have figured out how to position the kayak to receive the least water turbulence. Once again Stormy does great in her seat. She has lots of room.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 30 DAY 69 ON THE WATER – Long day yesterday. I thought I would make it to Memphis but just too far. Some days you paddle 40 miles but really only go 10 miles or so in a straight line because of all of the dog legs and switch backs. That is why this 1300 river miles is in a straight line only about 700 or 800 miles.
I have been picking good camp spots. There are a lot of them unlike the Missouri River where they are few and far between. The Yellowstone also had great and plentiful camp spots. I have started unloading everything out of the kayak for two reasons. The liquid urethane I put on the bottom has not held up, consequently the seams on the bottom in the back of the kayak are still leaking and it is enough I take a towel and get it out at the end of every day. The 2nd reason is since there is so much river traffic at night and some of the barges are pushing 45 large barges they create huge wakes and waves so I carry the kayak way up the beach and stake it and tie both ends. That way I can sleep and not worry about it all night.
MONDAY OCTOBER 31 DAY 70 ON THE WATER – I expected to reach Memphis by noon but once again I was off and it was 2. A guy spotted me as I was going by and hollered at me to pull into the Memphis Yacht Club and gave me the directions get there. Upon arriving the Google Boat was there also. I don’t know if I mentioned the Google guys in my 1st Journal when I was in St Louis at Big Muddy Mike’s.
But a guy out of Seattle is organizing the triip down the river with volunteers who fly in every week and row the boat while the Street Mapping unit I guess maps the river.
This guy is the one who hollered at me and gave me directions to the Yacht Club and gave me a ride to the grocery store. He is the oldest guy on record at 80 years old to paddle the entire Mississippi.
Anyway, I got a ride to the grocery store, took a taxi back, got loaded up and made it across the river right at dark. It was a pretty sight as you can see from the picture.
We just put the tent down and slept on the sand I was way too tired to set the tent up, however I did unload he kayak and pull it up on the beach. I didn’t sleep good at all, never do when I do it that way.
Quick story. As I was getting the bed ready Stormy took off down the beach barking like crazy. Pretty soon a guy comes walking up with Stormy barking at him. I was stunned. He was in pretty bad shape. I asked him what in the hell was he doing and he answered me he was lost. I said how in the hell could you be lost when he entire city of Memphis, TN is right across the river. I gave him some water and a banana and all the money I had which was 7 bucks. Later I was glad the grocery store didn’t have an ATM or I would have had $200 and probably gave it all to him. He rested, used my phone to communicate with a few people and got up and took off again. Turns out he was a “Traveler”. They are people who just travel around. I have ran into them before and heard of them.
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1 DAY 71 ON THE WATER – There was a pretty good breeze this morning when we got going as the sun was coming up. With the current though one can still make good headway. I was glad to see Memphis disappearing behind me. We stopped at about noon I ate something and hit it again. A guy in a canoe came by, 1st time I have seen anyone else on the river in the entire trip. He waved I waved at him, looked like he was struggling in the wind, they work very hard in the canoes. Much harder than a kayak.
I got tired at 2 from not sleeping good last night, plus I was tired of the wind. It has quit now. I think starting Thursday in is going to be coming out of the North so I might be able to use the sail. It is supposed to be less wind tomorrow, hope so.
This is spot we are at is one of the better we have had. The river traffic is clear across the river, probably a good mile and a half.
This dog is not stupid.