Hannibal, MO to the Sand Bar
I woke up from sleeping under a boat club in my hammock. There was a thick fog covering the area. It was a surreal fog as I could see the river below me. I packed my gear up quietly as I was going to get back to doing my own adventure. I headed up to a diner for breakfast. I ordered a spicy chicken sandwich. A chicken breast with a light dusting of some kind of spice, if you could call it that, was what I received. When I commented about it, the server went back to the kitchen to make sure the cook did the right thing. She came out and told me the cook put plenty of spices on it. I think she missed the point that I was not happy with it. She did not do anything to fix the situation. I am not high maintenance, but customer service was not their specialty. I paid out and took off to my boat. There was a Corvette car show going this morning. I grabbed my camera and went to take a few images. It was like any other car show, so I headed back to my boat. I say my good byes and took off.
I was glad to be back doing my own thing. I was passed by the Mark Twain Riverboat as I left. I waved bye to Steve as he took another tour out. He ended up catching up to me on the downstream. He was talking to the people on the speaker system. He told them to wave to me. He was telling them about me and my journey. I was honored and smiling. I captured a few photos of the boat as it passed. Steve Terry was a quality person to encounter on this adventure.
The day was quite hot and humid. I paddled on making my way through as many sloughs as possible. I pulled out o the last slough for the day when I saw a big group of boats on the other side of the river. I cut the channel to investigate. I got closer and realized it was a sand bar party. I pulled up as this was one of the river culture images I wanted to capture. I hit the beach and was instantly greeted. I asked if I could hang out. They said yes and I was offered a sandwich and water. I walked amongst everyone introducing myself. It was a family and friends gathering. There was about 15-20 boats lining the sand bar. As I was talking to some guys, this baking wearing girl jumped in format of me and said, “Hi Rich.” I did not know who she was at first. I took a closer look. It was April, the bartender from the night before. She told the others how she met me the night before. Small river sometimes. I got my camera out to capture the party culture. It was really important that I was able to show this for my book. It happens every weekend, when the bars are not flooded. I shot the games, the people, the fish fry, and all the boats. I was really happy with the images I captured. I also managed to get a group shot. It was around 50 people. I was told later that in all the years of coming out there, no one had been able to get a shot like I did that night. I was happy to know that I had accomplished that for them. They will all be getting the shots soon.
As the day wore on, I saw the other people I was paddling with had caught up. The canoe couple just kept on going. The solo kayaker stopped. A few of the other I was talking with greeted him too. The party was wrapping up and 2 brothers offered to bring me upstream to a cabin for the night. I loaded my boat and was on a new different boat. We went upstream and they dropped me off at Scott’s place. He met me and showed me around. Scott and his fiancée had to go back to their little one waiting for them. They told me to make myself at home and that Michael, another good guy I mat at the party, was going to be staying the night there as well. Michael came down an told me he was off to a bar. He invited me. I showered up real quick and we were off. We made it to a bar named Goodies. It was a small town bar off the river. It was interesting people watching there. I knew I was an outsider, but I still had a fun time. At the end of the night, I ended up driving back to the place with Michael. He was too tired to drive. We made it back and proceeded to crash out.
It was a great day meeting a lot of great people. It is days like this that I live for on this adventure. People are a recharge for me and I love it.