• spuffer

Day 40- July 13, 2018

Day 40 - July Friday the 13th 2018

Slept in a bit this morning in my hammock. After getting up and getting things together I pushed off about 9am.

Business as usual. Gotta work out the soreness and wake up the body.

Picking up the Illinois River made paddling a little quicker. The bluffs on the Illinois side are magnificent to look at during the trip to Alton.

Mel Price Lock and Dam was huge. It was an interestingly intimidating experience compared to the rest of the locks.

After getting through the River becomes different in feel. Knowing that now you’re done with the locks and the portaging is over your not so sure what to expect although you’re happy to be done with that portion of the River.

I get to the Missouri River Confluence and it is yet another milestone. At this point it is so hot I don’t bother stopping although that had been my plan all morning. I snap a few pics and notice the push I’m getting from the new rush of water.

Soon I’m closing in on the I-270 bridge and the old Route 66 bridge. After that is the infamous Chain of Rocks Dam

With the high water the Chain of Rocks did not bring the excitement or fear that had been anticipated. There was a slight drop and some turbulence in the water but nothing I haven’t already experienced elsewhere on this trip.

Soon I was at the clearing to meet Famed Muddy Mike of Big Muddy Adventures in St. Louis. The bank was high and the mud deep. I sent him a message to make sure I was at the right place. He confirmed. I threw a bag up on the bank and stepped off into the mud that shot over my knee. I thought that this can’t possibly be right. If so this must be some kind of right of passage initiation. I didn’t move anything else until Mike showed up.

He did and I decided on option two. Paddle another ten miles to the Arch and load the boat on his trailer there.

38 miles for the day and 1160 complete total. Mike later complimented me on my skill of manning my boat shoving off and navigating a busy port channel and successfully landing on his trailer which was backed into the water and a bridge with turbulent water. That made me feel good.

I hung out with Mike for the evening and he really is an salt of the earth guy. Very interesting to boot. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to meet him.

I’m so tired now and ready to get some sleep. I’m glad that Carrie will be here tomorrow and I look forward to having a couple of days off to rest and relax and heal.

For now I’m going to sleep while I listen to my new friend Dolly, Mikes dog, snore to her own tune.

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