Sunday, October 30, 2016

MO to St. Louis

So... Just because I made it through the Missouri River... and theoretically St Louis is at the confluence... does not mean it is a reasonable task to get from the Mo to the waterfront of St Louis.  After 14 damns, I was about to meet my first set of Locks... and first Canal.  This is mostly a picture post.  It took me a full day to get from my make shift pier of sunken barges around St Louis to the waterfront.

The Confluence of The MO and the Miss.  You can even tell that the Miss is so much more a commercial river even at this point. So many barges and boats on the Mississippi only trees and eagles on the Missouri.

The first thing you will see upon entering the Miss is that the whole of the river flows to the right... but this sign tells you that all boats must go left down this canal.  On the right is what's called "Chain of Rocks."  Basically the left overs of a dam.  Of the people I talked to, it was about 50/50 if I could get down the chain of rocks with the Mermaid...  I was kind of excited to go through a lock too...  This is the last Lock on the Mississippi.  So, I went down the canal into the lock.

Like... freaking 9 miles of canal...

Yep... Miles of still straight water.

Eventually you get to this lock at the end of it.  I was a little nervous to be honest.  It really feels like a place you shouldn't be with a little rowboat. Eventually the lock dude came out... said "Don't bother tying up..." Like it was a totally normal thing for me to be there.

And down we go.

Back into the Mississippi just north of St Louis.  First time I see the Arch!

This bridge just north of downtown St Louis is absolutely the most beautiful bridge on the whole system. Iron and Concrete configured in a piece of architecture you could look at for hours and see new things the whole time. 

We're here.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Out of the Mo into the Miss:

AUGUST 20, 2016 (Give or take)

What can I say… 2300 miles of grueling beauty and splendid hardship.  

I don’t think anyone who has ever traveled the length of the Missouri River would ever say they have beaten or conquered or even “haha” bested the river.  The most you can say is that you made it, this time.  This time, you learned fast enough, you made few enough mistakes, and you got lucky enough when it counted that you made it.  You don’t complete it and feel like a bigger man for it… you complete it and feel humbler.

This is the last moments I spent on the Missouri River.  Just about to enter the confluence of the Mo and Miss.

The End of he Missouri.  Over my right shoulder, you see the Missouri river... over my left, you see the Mississippi.  

(The keen observer will spot the Mermaid pulled up on the river bank.)

At this point... I am 2300 miles into the trip.  The entire length of the Missouri River traveled... I am ahead of schedule, so I plan to travel all the way back to my place in Florida.  I now have the rest of the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico ahead of me.  1500 Miles to go!  Even though I have come so far... 1500 miles isn't nothing!