Monday, May 16, 2011

First day on river

We got a late start from the house this morning (that never happens?) and drove to Nebraska City to put in on the Missouri River.  The Gilg family was kind enough to come with and make it a special occasion.  We arrived in NE City around 10:15 a.m. and drove down to the river to find minor flooding.  The good news was we parked in the middle of the road and unloaded my gear and canoe.  I loaded her up and after photos and hugs and kisses hit the river with my start time around 10:45 a.m.

The river is flowing very fast and I have to watch out for whirlpools created by bar dams the Corps of Engineers installed to direct the water to the center of the channel to create enough flow year round for barges.  The rudder system on the canoe comes in handy at those times in keeping the bow directed downstream.  I hadn't realized how fast I was moving but by noon I realized I would make my daily trip mileage with little trouble.  I did stop for lunch around 1:00 p.m. and that was more tricky than I thought it would be.  With the current so fast it's hard to approach a landing site without shooting by.

At around 4:00 p.m. I passed Brownville, NE, and the nuclear power plant.  I had planned to continue paddling until 5:00 p.m. but I saw a MO Parks campground and decided to call it a day.

The first day out I've seen a few bald eagles and lots of vultures and misc. ducks.  I'm in a funky mood now that the planning and anticipation has passed and I'm actually doing this trip.  I know it will get easier once I get in a routine but I do miss my wife and kids.  I'm also a bit sore from the first day's physical exertion.  Oh well, I should sleep well tonight!

Time to make dinner and get some sleep.  I hope to check in every day but that will depend on if I can charge batteries on the iPad and my phone.  I didn't see another person on the river all day so I'm going to have to plan stops at towns along the way, the first probably being on Tuesday.

I'll attach a few photos of the river and my campsite.


Sent from Jerry Bricker's iPad. Oooooh!


  1. You are collecting quite a fan base at Hope College. We might even start a FB page for you! Keep it up, we are all rooting for you!