Day 74: Waves and Cape Girardeau
Today, I made the push to Cape Girardeau. I had to fight some of the wakes the barges were throwing today. They were out in numbers and making the water a little interesting. As I was approaching the Cape, I padded a fuel barge against the bank. I waved to one of the deck hands and then the captain came out. She waved hi and pointed behind me. I turned around to a 30 barge tow coming up behind me. I was in the right area. I just happened to be in the main channel at this point. I pushed close to the shore so that it could pass. It was huge as it went pretty close as it passed. Oh the life on the interstate of the river. It was not long though before I had landed at Cape Girardeau. I said hi to two different couples as I was getting ready to get out of my boat. There was a cement boat launch that I had to pull my boat up onto. A nice guy helped me do that once I was out of it. I put the wheels on it and was getting ready to pull it up the ramp towards the flood wall.
A kid came up to me and told me he was from Colorado too. I asked from where at in Colorado. He told me Denver and then the neighborhood that I lived in. He used to live a few blocks from me. Kyle offered to help me get my boat up the ramp. I asked him if there were any places I could possible store my boat as I was planning to take a day off. He told me he would make a quick call or two to see what he could find out. As I put my boat down, I looked down the street and saw this bar called LoDo. I told him that was funny. Then he tells me the owner was from Denver and Fort Collins. There seemed to be a lot of Colorado connections going on here. He saw the bar owner, Brad, pull up. I figured I would go see if I could possible safely store my boat there while I took a day off. I introduced myself to him and told him what I was doing. He was more than welcoming and offered me to keep my boat in a back room of the bar. Kyle and I backed the boat up into the bar and that was set. He inquired if I had a place to sleep for the night. I told him I had not gotten that far yet. He then offered me to sleep on the deck above his bar that night. It may be a little loud for a bit, but it would quiet down and be secure. I thought that a bar top would be a first for my camping locations. He took me upstairs and showed me the spot. It looked great. I grabbed some of my gear and made it work. I went back downstairs and sat down to talk with Kyle. He was 17 and still in high school. He was an outdoor and adventurous kid like you get from Colorado. He was asking about my adventures and what all I had done. I told him a few adventure stories from this trip and about future plans. He was very appreciative of what I was doing as he wanted to do some things like I was doing in his life. I then asked about food places as I was getting hungry. He told me there was a good bbq place a block away. I asked if he wanted to go and talk there. He told me he did not have any money with him. I told him I would cover it. On the way there, we met Nick, Brad’s son. He joined us. The bbq was good and the company was nice. Nick asked if I had met his dad yet. Kyle told him I would be the one sleeping on the roof at the bar that night. We talked more about adventures before heading back to the bar. Once we got there, Kyle took off.
Brad introduced me to Matt, his right hand man. Matt worked with Brad to put everything in the new bar together. He had only been I. The building for 2 weeks and was still doing a lot of remodeling. He showed me how to get I and out that night. While on the roof, I met Amy, Brad’s wife. She was smiling as Brad told her this is where I would be sleeping. They went back downstairs and I cleaned up a bit. Feeling a little more refreshed, I went to join the guys at the bar. I met the bartender and she gave me a rum and coke. Brad told me to enjoy it this evening. Brad would spend the evening introducing me to one friend after another. It was an extremely welcoming feeling being in his bar. I spent the evening talking with the patrons and Brad. Before too long though, I was getting tired. I told them I was going to retire for the evening. I walked up the stairs and lock the doors behind me. My tent was set up and so was my pad. I went to bed knowing that I was secure. There is something nice when you do not have to worry about animals or people disturbing you in the middle of the night.
I went to sleep listening to the bar downstairs. Then, I heard it coming. TRAIN!! The train went between the building on the street that the bar was on and a river wall (levee wall). The train was blowing its horn for the two intersections. Two long, one short, and one long per intersection. That sound traveled against the wall and directly to the roof I was sleeping on. The roof had the walls of the two buildings it was in between. This meant that is was the loudest horn that I have heard yet. I had to fully plug both of my ears each time a train would come by throughout that night.
This is adventure.