Nebraska - Missouri
Missouri River Quest '07 - Page 16
I took off this morning with the goal of making it to the Missouri border. The weather was
nice and I made it to the town of Bellvue, Nebraska just before 9:00 AM. I decided to walk
into town for breakfast.
The town sits on a hill nearly a mile from the river, but I felt up to a walk. I reached the top
of the hill and found myself in a residential neighborhood. I'd come too far to turn back, so
I kept walking. I traveled nearly another mile before I found a cafe. The omelette was
good, but I'd wasted over an hour and a half to get it.
I wasn't on the water long before it started to rain. There was quite a wind to accompany
the shower, but it didn't last long. After the shower, the air was dead calm. It remained
overcast all day and mist rose from the river. I kept waiting for the rain, but it never came.
I crossed into Missouri around 5:00. I can't believe how far I've come! 1800 miles are
behind me and only 500 to go.
I passed a few facilities that were set up for barges today, but no actual barges. I was
ready to call the first two hundred miles of the navigation channel a waste of tax dollars
when just before I stopped for the night, I met a tow pushing six empty barges. I thought
someone was actually using the river for commerce until I saw that all the barges said
Army Corps of Engineers.
I passed the confluence of the Platte River today. With the extra water, the current is now
flowing over 5 mph. I can cruise at 8 mph with very little effort. I covered seventy miles
today and as long as the weather holds out, I should be able to meet my grandma in
Kansas City in two and a half days.
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My goal is to cover 80 miles a day for the next two days. That will allow me to meet my
grandma in Kansas City for lunch on Saturday. I didn't have any problem making 80 miles
today. I hope tomorrow goes as smoothly!
The weather was pretty good today. It was cool and overcast, but no rain, and only a little
wind. I had no trouble cruising at eight mph with the current.
The river traveled through flat plains and corn fields for the first forty miles of the day. It
was pretty boring, but the next forty miles were lined with tall bluffs and quite scenic.
I walked into Rule, Nebraska hoping to get some lunch. There are two bars and nothing
else in Rule. Neither bar would take a debit card and I only had three dollars in cash, so I
cooked dinner at the boat.
I set up camp tonight and started cooking dinner. I was twenty feet away from my stove
putting things away in the boat when I looked up and saw the stove was engulfed in
flames. I poured the pot of water I was heating on the fire and it went out. The pump on
the fuel bottle was pretty well melted and it looked like I might not have a camp stove any
more. I replaced the o-ring that had caused the problem and tried the pump. It still
worked! I was pretty lucky.
I had a message from Kyle on my phone tonight. He and Shawn were in Yankton and glad
to be off the lakes. I called back to leave a message and Kyle answered. They were
celebrating at the bar in Yankton. He had plenty of war stories to tell, but was still in good
spirits. I have a great deal of respect for those guys! I wouldn't be man enough to cross
those big lakes in an open canoe.
It was cool and cloudy when I woke up this morning. It stayed that way and rained off and
on through the day. I'm really ready for some nice weather!
I paddled into St. Joseph first thing this morning, hoping to get some breakfast. The first
place I came to was a casino. I'm sure they had a buffet, but there wasn't a good place to
land and there were quite a few young men hanging around the river and not fishing. I
didn't want to have my stuff stolen, so I kept going.
When I came to the town itself, I found the interstate running right along the river, and a
large homeless camp on the bank. I decided not to stop at St. Joseph. I came to the town
of Atchison around lunch time. It had a large industrial area near the river and no place to
land, so I kept going.
I was finally able to land at a boat camp in Leavenworth, Kansas. I filled my water at the
park and walked into town to look for a restaurant. I found a Sonic drivethrough.
I've never been to a Sonic before so it took me a while to figure out how to order. I had to
push a button on a board and talk into a microphone. I couldn't just go in and order
something. The burger was good when I finally figured out how to get it.
From Leavenworth, I paddled into a stiff headwind to the outskirts of Kansas City where I
found a sandbar to camp on.
It's still raining right now and there is a chance of rain tomorrow. I hope it holds off. I'm
supposed to meet my grandma tomorrow.