Saturday, May 21, 2011

Returning back to the river

After a nice full day off in north Kansas City it was time to head back to the water. While at the Vacca's I was able to go through my food bags and whittle down what I needed for the run to St. Louis. I also weeded out the equipment that was weighing me down. The canoe is now riding as it should and the equipment bags are finally an appropriate weight. That ride from Nebraska City to Kansas City was definitely a strain because I was so overloaded. The good thing is that I've now had my "shakedown" trip and I'm in a very confident frame of mind about camping, paddling, etc. from here on out.

For my day off I went to dinner with Lora, Abbey, Grant, and one of Abbey's friends, Tiffany. It was a delicious meal at Buffalo Wild Wings, I'm so glad Grant told me it was my favorite restaurant and that I "just had to go"! Afterwards, we shopped at Zona Rosa where I picked up a new canoe seat at Dick's Sporting Goods and had a Cafe Mocha at the Barnes and Noble.

We didn't leave the house this morning until after 11:00 a.m. and it was about 11:40 a.m. when I finally got in the water. I paddled all afternoon with a single stop for lunch and made it the 36 miles to Cooley Landing at 5:40 p.m. The fast flowing high water is certainly a blessing. Even so, I'm not expecting to arrive in St. Louis until June 3rd. I intend to average 30 miles a day and enjoy the ride. Below Kansas City things are opening up a bit and it's a real pretty stretch of river. My favorite part is that the wild grapes are in bloom. When the wind dies down to a gentle breeze I can smell the grapes a hundred yards or so upstream, a very nice treat for a flower lover like myself.

The river was very busy today since it's the weekend. I saw more boat traffic in the few hours below Kansas City than I saw in the entire trip from Nebraska to KC. Lots of speed boats but no other paddle craft although I expect there will be a few coming along now that the weather is warming up.

Cooley Landing is another of those popular locations. Lots of people here fishing and I spent time talking with a couple guys who are camping out for the night. John and Dusty arrived just as I was pulling in and unloading the canoe. They are childhood friends that are now in their late 30s. John says he's just a Redneck but he wears the title as a badge of honor. They offered me a cold beer and we chatted a bit before this old man retreated to his tent to write his blog and go to sleep. Thunderstorms are threatening off to the west and it will be interesting what they'll do if it starts to pour since they don't own a tent.

The rest of the activity here tonight was an impromptu party at the boat landing after a group pulled out their boat. They were getting pretty loud and having a good time but they've since pulled out. Things have quieted down which is good as I'm one tired puppy.

Not much else to report. It was nice to get a real meal and a few hot showers the day and a half I was off the water. I was a bit sore before my rest day but I felt pretty good today, even though it was a hot and long day.

Thanks Brian and Lora for your great hospitality!



Sent from Jerry Bricker's iPad. Oooooh!

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