Day 71: Ste. Genevieve
I woke up today to Ray calling my name. He was hollering, time to get breakfast. He came back to pick me up this morning to go get breakfast. I was tired, but wanted something besides oatmeal. I grabbed my camera bag and left everything else. It was safe. We drove to this small cafe named Holtie’s. I walked in to see people sitting up at the bar smoking. I guess Missouri has not got on board with the health of others by eliminating smoking in eating establishments. I ordered a omelet with hash browns. It was a little on the greasy side of things, but I guess that was to be expected. I would work it off. Ray dropped me back off where I camped last night. I broke down my tent and organized my gear. I did a food assessment. I have about 7 days worth of food yet. I will order more tomorrow. I also figured my sleeping bag can be sent back home now. I don’t thing I will be using it anymore.
I got onto the river and began moving. The current had a good push in the morning. It was pretty quiet out on the river today. Only a few barges, which are growing in size, and about a half dozen bass boats. I was looking at about 38-40 miles today. I figured do 20, take a break, and then finish the rest. I made it to around 20 when I saw some shoreline with tree coverage. The temperature was around 85 today with high humidity. I expected this and I know it will get much worse the deeper south I go. This is all part of the experience. I made lunch and then took a nap for about an hour. I was not looking to waste energy in the heat of the day. After the nap, I made a go to get to Ste. Genevieve. Some clouds helped and there was an afternoon breeze. That helped. I stayed on the Missouri side today. I was surprised to see how much industry was happening along the river. I passed another nuclear power plant, and a lot of limestone mills. They were set up to drive trucks over the river and dump their limestone directly into the waiting barges. I photographed along the way. You would just be surprised how much most people will never see. Even on a Sunday evening, the river is hopping with commerce. I made it to Ste. Genevieve. I pulled up to a muddy bank. I asked a couple in their truck if this was Ste. Genevieve and where was the best place to dock. The couple, Marvin and Cindy, came down to talk with me. Marvin told me he always wanted to do what I was doing. That is one thing I have heard from so many people since day one.
After talking with him for a bit, he asked if I needed any supplies. He offered to run me into town. I was too tired to think. I said I could use some bread, pop tarts (sweet snack on the river), and some Gatorade. They told me they would go into town and be right back. I pulled my boat around to the other side of the landing to set up for the night. The other side was muddy and rocky. I pulled my boat up and loomed for a place for my hammock or tent, if need be. I settled for an ok tent location. It is by the river and close to my boat. I was setting my tent up when Marvin and Cindy came back. They picked up the things. I asked how much it was so I could pay them. They told my that they covered it. I was not looking for nor expecting that. I was once again humbled by the kindness of strangers. I came up to their truck to talk with them. We chatted for a bit before they had to go.
Before they did though, they dispensed some knowledge and history to me. I sat there with open ears enjoying learning about the area. I got their information so I could keep in touch with them along this journey. I grabbed the last of my gear and jumped into the tent before the mosquitos could extract more of my blood. I got in and blew up my pad to lay back on and relax. I was rest for a few when the full moon began to pop out of the clouds. There was a good shot where I was in my tent, but I wanted my tripod to make it a success. The debate was to lie down, go to sleep, and get the shots tomorrow or suck up the mosquitoes, get the tripod and nail the shots. So….I nailed the shots. I got some great moon, camping, and approaching barge shots. I was happy with the results. I capture quite a few. I finished shooting then I watched an approaching line boat and barge meet up with a tug. The tug was taking a few barges off the line boat. It is 10:00 on a Sunday night, but to the river, it is just another day. The tug finished and the li e boat and barge moved upstream. There are crickets and frogs chirping outside of my tent. The river is gently flowing up against the banks making a relaxing sound. It is like a Mother Nature zen cd. Today was another successful day. I am looking forward to the adventures tomorrow has in store for me.
This is adventure.