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Day 46-July 19, 2018

Day 46 - July 19th 2018

Pushed off this morning and within minutes I came up on the largest barge yet it was set up 7X7. It took up almost the entire channel. It was really no different in the wake that it put off. The all mess up the river the just the same.

I met Henry in Cape Girardeau that claims many titles and one of those happens to be a professional rock balancer. Funny thing is he did it right in front of me.

Henry is a lost soul at 41 years old. He has a disdain for Cape Girardeau, MO where he has lived his whole life. He has had problems with alcohol and drugs and says he has cleaned that up through AA and the grace of God.

He was three hours late to an audition for the local Idol competition where he had thought he would do well and maybe lift himself from Cape Girardeau. When he arrived though it was all done and packed up. Another opportunity missed.

Maybe Henry needs a kayak and a ride to Itasca to set off on his own Huckfinn adventure where possibly he may find whatever it is he may need. Possibly just find meaningful experiences that will create opportunities.

Guy, a 60 year old former motorcycle racer now runs a physical therapy program called Balance happened to cross our path as Henry and I were talking while Henry was hard at work finding balance in rocks.

I sat back in wonder thinking about why I decided to stop to take pictures of a mural and try to refill some water bottles and this was brought to me.

Oddly enough I paddled away with a good feeling about both these people. The experience was odd but satisfying. I wished them well and continued on with my journey.

I stopped in Thebes, IL and found Bobby White the City Maintenance Man busy weed whacking around the shop. I told him what I was doing and that I was looking for a place to fill my water bottles.

He set me up while I was filling my bottles and answering the same rundown of questions I have gotten from everyone I have encountered.

Bobby said that it has been a blessing that the Lord intervened when he did with my heart and arranged things in my life so that I could be on this trip.

My goal today was to paddle out of Illinois. Thunderstorms moved on me in my final 9 miles and ran me off onto the shore. I hunkered down in my tarp until the rain cleared. Then the following wind was an issue. By then it was six and that’s when I try to be off the river anyhow. So I set up camp and I’m fixing my dinner looking at the I-57 bridge.

I have burned a lot of miles up on this interstate. Been to both ends many many times. The town I use to live in was exit 315 on this highway. I’ve crossed this bridge many times with great anticipation to see this river. Now I sit here with a view looking back.

Looking back and wondering if anyone up there is having the same excitement about crossing the great river like I did so many times.

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