Monday, July 27, 2009

Atchison, Kansas to Kansas City, Missouri


Joe had a great birthday yesterday, surviving the heat and ending up in Atchison, Kansas. The morning was a great start as Zeke and Chelsea, two other campers, made him some biscuits and gravy and brewed some morning coffee.

(Zeke and Chelsea, great folks who bumped into me in Payne's Landing. Thank you for the biscuits and gravy!)

It was a great way to start and got him in the right mindset for getting back on the water. He stopped for lunch just outside of St. Joseph’s, Missouri and continued on, completing 55 miles on the day and finishing in Atchison, Kansas.

(My "stealth" campsite in Atchison)

(A view of downtown Atchison, KS)

The current was picking up, always welcome, and aided him in his journey. Joe meandered through Atchison at night, celebrating his birthday at a local restaurant. There was a Kansas City blues band playing and fried food cooking, which made for a great evening.

(The Flyer on the Riverfront in Atchison)

(Music at the Hoof N' Horn on the Riverfront)

The locals were all really friendly and nice, refusing to let Joe pay his bill. Joe was really appreciative of the hospitality of the townsfolk, especially with it being his birthday.

(A photo of the 'Mo)

Today, after battling another hot day, Joe made it to Kansas City.

(A view of the Kansas City skyline from my boat)

(Pumped to arrive in KC)

The day was a little rough, after all the fried food. I guess Joe’s digestive tract is not used to the homecookin’ yet, although the next section on the Mississippi and southern food will change that. He didn’t see too many other folks on today’s stretch, but the few he did brightened his day.

(A dead carp, this smells particularly bad in the summer heat)

He passed the time by listening to NPR for most of the morning and at lunch, spotted an umbrella off in the distance. After paddling near, he realized it was some other water goers: Dan, Doug, and Katie. They offered him a sandwich, which Joe devoured, even after lunch. Afterward, Joe ran into another kayaker, Robert Carpenter, at the Kaw Point boat ramp. Kaw Point is the location where the Kansas River flows into the Missouri River, helping increase the current and flow. Lewis and Clark reached Kaw Point on June 26th, 1804. More, including history, current projects, and information to donate, can be read about this famous location on the Missouri here.

The plaque commemorating Lewis and Clark at Kaw Point

Kaw Point (both images from

As for Robert Carpenter, he traveled an epic water course, circumnavigating the western half of the United States in 2000 and 2001. His trip can be read about on his website,

Tonight, Joe rendezvoused with our cousin, Kara, and her husband, Chris. Joe will be taking a rest day tomorrow in town and will have a chance to update the blog before he sets out for St. Louis. He should be arriving in St. Louis around August 6th and will be out on the Mississippi around August 10th. Enjoy Joe’s post and I’ll be back at it in a couple of days.

Paddle on,


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