Tuesday, November 6, 2001 - Canoeing the Ohio-Mississippi with 847 miles to go!
Well the weather has been beautiful. I am in Caruthersville, Mo. I am a day late, but that will not be a problem to make up. Two days ago I
paddled 51 miles and congratulated myself with a six pack in New Madrid.
I am still meeting some wonderful people. Some offering food, some rides places, and
others just offer an encouraging word. I met a fellow by the name of Jerry
Lebo when I reached Cairo IL on Saturday. He took my picture and told me
some wonderful stories of living along the two rivers. He reminded me of my
father. Always joking with people. It was not hard to smile for the pictures he took of me. Thanks Jerry.
Well I am now sailing down the even mightier Mississippi or the Ohio as some think it should be called. It was
hot as hell on Saturday and my shorts were packed away. No one was around
so I decided I would just paddle in my boxers. Well soon after a couple
that were out fishing pulled up to talk. I used my hands to cover up and
hoped no waves would shake anything free and scare the wonderful lady in the
boat. They offered me a sandwich, Butterfinger and a soda and pulled away
The river is much wider now, and is moving a bit faster. There are many more barges and they are huge. I saw one that was 7 by 6
that's 42 barges and a tow. But its easy to stay clear of them because the channel is so
Mississippi River south of St. Louis
I am still seeing the occasional eagle and I get to watch hawks and blue
herons all day. The color in the trees are amazing. Just being out here is a
wonderful treat. The banks are mostly wooded and they are lined with stones
placed there by the Army Corp of Engineers to limit erosion. Those stone
make it hard to find soft places to land to camp or stop to eat lunch, but I
I have discovered one of the reasons I'm out here. Rehab. I have been addicted to an awful drug for many years now. Many of my friends have
seen me struggle in my times of need. My own mother has seen it get to the point
were I could hardly eat. Though she has helped to supply me with this awful
and addictive substance for years. By the time I get to New Orleans, I will
no longer be addicted to Chap Stick. Praise the lord. I am going to kick
Well thank you for the letters and THANKS for the care packs. They really put a smile on my face. I should be in Memphis on the 9th or 10th and at my
next stop, Greenville MS on the 14th or 15th hopefully.
I do have one question. Do alligators live along the banks of the Mississippi, and how
does one go about not being eaten by one. This is going to soon become a
Well take care and I thank you all again for the support. I have had some
tough days, but the fun and excitement out way all the bad tenfold. And your encouragement helps me paddle on.
I can't wait to get home and see you all.