Day 64: the trek
I got up off the couch this morning at Scott’s place. I grabbed my gear and closed up his place as I made my way to my boat. It was on a dock from the night before, so I was going to have to find someone to help me load it into the water. As I was packing my stuff up, Terry came down to give me a hand. We got the boat in the water and I was off. I headed downstream to the sand bar I was at yesterday. I saw one boat. I pulled up to it. Michael, Calvin, April, and two other friends were hanging out. I chatted with them before taking off. I was off to Louisiana, MO for the first stop of the day. I got there fairly quickly. I saw the 25 year old guy’s boat as I went to the boat launch. I was going to grab a bite to eat here. I walked up to the town and ended up at a mexican restaurant. I pulled up to the bar to order. I did not have high hopes because of the quality of mexican food that is in Denver. That is a good standard for me. I ordered a plate that I would not regret later in the boat. Behind me was a group of bikers from St. Louis. They had come here for the day. We started talking about adventures, bikes, and our favorite rides around the country. It was a pleasure talking with them.
After lunch, I was back to the river. A little bit down the river, I saw and past Zack again. He was talking with two day trippers going to Clarksville, MO. I didn’t stick around too long as I was going to photograph the Mississippi Queen that was coming upstream. It is one of the last true paddle boats on the river. I got some good shots before making my way down to Lock #24. I got in it myself because the other paddlers were not close. I passed the town of Clarksville because I wanted to get to a sand bar that night. I went past one that had a group of boaters wrapping up their day. I said “hi” and they offered me a soda. It was cold, so I was game. I pushed on and one of the boaters caught up with me. It was a 54 year old guy and his wife. They were in a flat bottom boat that he built himself. He recently had a quadruple bypass heart surgery. He built it while he was recovering. I told them I was going to Clearwater, FL. He reached behind his seat and pulled out a Ron Jon’s shirt from Clearwater. I thought that was kinda cool. We talked as we were floating down. We smiled about adventures and he told me to make sure I live the best life possible. I told him I was working on that. They took off upstream and I continued down.
I was paddling along the Missouri side as I came upon a grandpa and his grandson who were fishing on a dock. I said “hi”. He asked me if I was hungry. I told him I was getting that way. He told his grandson to run inside and get me some pizza that they just ordered. The kid brought me 2 slices and I was a happy boater. He told me about some awesome sand bars just a little way down. He talked about them with a smile like he has had some fun times out on them. I took off as the sun was getting ready to set. I made it to Angel Island on a sand bar. I arrived in time to set up my tent and then watch a tequila sunset. I simply felt it was not fair that the rest of the world could not see what I was seeing. It was amazing to watch the sun melt over the river and into the distance. I was tired and in bed by 10:00pm.
I chalked today up to another amazing day on the river. There were more good people and some great conversations.
This is adventure.