Monday, May 16, 2011

Day two was half good and then the rest of the story...

It was uber cold here in Nebraska last night. I woke several times to the sound of some beast I've never heard before wailing away and then the same scream from up river. I got up at about 6:00 a.m. and got a slow start eating breakfast and packing the canoe. It was a quick run down to Indian Cave State Park where I arrived at 11:30 a.m. Just as I was pulling up to the park two older gents in a Park truck stopped to ask what I was up to. Two minutes later I had convinced them to drive me to get water at the pump about a mile away. Ron and Lenny are both retired and working at the park for the summer and were nice to talk to after being alone for two days.

I continued down river to Rulo, NE, where I'm sitting at the riverside park typing this and thinking about dinner. When I got to town I stopped at the first house where I could put in and asked for directions to the park. The old gent directed my past the bridge and "I couldn't miss it, just look for my wife and daughter and a red pickup truck." They had been there fishing (and drinking beer!) all afternoon. Seems the entire town converges here, many in golf carts, to fish, drink, and socialize. I was the subject of attention for a few hours.

One local did stop by and talk to me about the river situation. We are 2 feet above flood stage and he indicated if we get rain as predicted it will crest and be a real mess. The Corps of Engineers is expected to release water from the dam in South Dakota and tha could flood me out. I'm having little trouble navigating mid channel but it's a battle when I come to shore. After I added the water at lunch I could barely turn into the current and paddle up stream when making a landing. The water is flowing at 93,000 cfs here at Rulo. When I get to St. Louis it will be running at 250,000 cfs. I just can't imagine paddling upstream in that for any distance and it doesn't look like conditions will improve in a week and a half when I arrive.

So, the rest of the story is what to do. I talked to Becky today about the possibility of terminating the trip in St. Louis. Her advice was wait a few days to decide what I will do. I still have 500 miles to travel to the Mississippi River but I'm heavily loaded and the high water levels have put me in a foul mood.

Randy, my newfound friend here in Rulo put it best "you picked the worst time of the year in the worst year to make your trip. Too bad it isn't September. Oh well, it is a beautiful evening on the river so I'll worry about my troubles tomorrow.


Sent from Jerry Bricker's iPad. Oooooh!

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