Finishing the Missouri River
Missouri River Quest '07 - Page 19
|Click on photos to see an
enlarged version in a new
|More photos of the finish of my Missouri River trek are posted
on Page 6 of my Photo Album.
My plan was to sleep in until about noon today, but the hot sun baked me out of the tent by
9:00 AM. Since there wasn't anything better to do, I packed up and started my last day on
I only had twenty miles to cover before I reached the Mississippi. The last stretch looked
like most of the channelized river. I was hoping to see something grand as the last few
miles passed by, but even though it was a very average stretch, there weren't any trailer
houses, so that was a plus.
I reached the Mississippi at 1:00 PM and got out to stand on the point where these two
great rivers meet. There were some people there, so I had them take my picture. I felt
great! I had paddled the entire Missouri. I sat quietly for a few minutes before heading out
on the Mississippi to cover the last few miles to the arch.
The Chain of Rocks dam is just a few miles down from the confluence. There is a canal
with a lock that bypasses this hazard and I took that route last year. This year, I decided to
portage the dam.
The portage was short and easy, but it looked like the place you could get all of your stuff
stolen. I was glad when the boat was loaded and back on the water.
I set up camp on an island five miles from the dam. It's a good spot with a beach I can
swim at and a shade tree to pitch the tent under. Not a bad spot for the last campsite of
I can see the arch from here. It's not very far away. I'll be there tomorrow morning! Then,
I'll head back home, having covered 2350 miles of river in 53 days.
There were many times on this trip that I wanted to quit. It rained all the time, the wind
blew like hell in the Dakotas, and it was cold. I made it through a lot of wet lonely nights,
and I stuck with it. And now, I wouldn't trade it for the world! It wasn't easy, but I've paddled
a kayak solo down the two longest rivers in North America. There aren't many people who
can say that, and I'm proud of what I've accomplished.
I've heard from Shawn and
Kyle. They've finished their
It's amazing you did the
river in an open canoe! I'm
glad we happened to meet
and travel a bit together.