Montana
Missouri River Quest '07 - Page 4
page 5
5.20.07
I woke up to a beautiful morning.  The sun was shining and the wind wasn't blowing, so I
parked up quickly before the weather had time to change its mind.

I made good time throughout the morning.  The scenery was pretty, and I'm getting tan
enough I don't burn.  There still aren't any houses or people, but there sure are a lot of
geese.  They're pretty birds, but they sure do make a lot of noise!

After lunch, I came across a group of college age kids in canoes I paddled up hoping to
get some free food, and maybe even some beer, but when I started talking to them it was
clear they had been doing a lot more than drinking today.  I paddled away as quickly as I
could.

It started to rain around 5:00.  I saw the front coming and could have set up camp, but it
looked like it would pass quickly.  By 6:00 it was pouring and I was shooting a long set of
rapids.

I started thinking about my dad, and how, even though I love him, I'm so mad at him I don't
think I would talk to him if he were alive today.  So I started talking to him.  I talked to him
about how much it hurt me that he let other people run his life.  I'm not going into the whole
story again on this trip.  You can read my Mississippi journal for that.

I talked to him, and I yelled at him, and the rain was pouring in the middle of the
wilderness, and I stopped.  All of a sudden I saw the humor in it.  I was a kayaker in the
middle of nowhere, in the rain, running rapids while yelling at my dead father.  I had to
laugh.

The rain let up a little around 7:00, so I hurried to set up camp.  Right now there is quite a
thunderstorm going on outside, but in my tent I'm warm and mostly dry.

Hopefully, the rain will be done by tomorrow morning and I can get a full day of paddling in.
 I'm less than fifty miles from a state park where I can call home and let everyone know I'm
not dead.
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5.21.07
It was still raining when I woke up, so I slept in a little.  I was on the river by 8:30.  It looked
like it could rain all day, but it never did.

I made good time and was at James Kipp State Park by lunch time.  There wasn't any cell
phone reception, but there was a pay phone where I was able to let the folks back home
know I'm not fish food yet.  The highlight of my brief stop at the park was when a couple in
a motor home gave me some cookies and apple pie.

I left the park and paddled towards the headwaters of Ft. Peck Lake.  This is the fifth
largest man made reservoir in the world.  It has over 1500 miles of shoreline.  That's more
than the state of California.

I had hoped to camp on the lake tonight, but some campers offered to share their
barbecued hamburgers with me and I was forced to stop ten miles short of my goal.

The two highlights of my day were calling home, and getting a good picture of a bobcat on
the bank.

It is cold and looks like rain right now.  I'm hoping for good weather tomorrow.
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5.22.07
I woke up at 5:30 this morning, eager to get a start on Ft. Peck Lake.  It was a little windy
cloud was moving quickly across the sky.  As I write this, it has been raining steadily for
over 13 hours and there is no end in sight.  My boat didn't move at all today, but , as
always, I have high hopes for tomorrow.
I'm glad I stopped at the campsite rather than push on last night.  I've been taken in by a
group of fishermen.  They've been kind enough to share their shelter, fire, and food.  They
are all Christians, and talk openly about their faith.  A few years ago this would have driven
me away, but a lot can change in a few years.

The time I have spent alone in the wilderness has allowed me to see that there is a God
and He is always with me.  I grew up in a household that shunned God and I have a lot to
learn.  My new friends taught me a great deal today and they also gave me a Bible so I can
learn more on my journey.  I think this rainy day was meant to be.

Tonight, we will be frying up a 17 pound Missouri River catfish under our tarp shelter.  I
wish I had more than my thanks to give these kind strangers in return for all the generosity
they have shown me, but there isn't a lot of room for gifts in the kayak.  I'll just have to do
my best to be kind to others along my way.
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Giant Spring
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