Hello again, this is Jared, back at it after Joe's brief stay over with Kara and Chris in Kansas City, MO. He had a great time with them and wanted to thank them again for the hospitality and companionship. That said, he was excited to get back out on the river yesterday. That excitement was slightly dampened by the fact he had to paddle all day in the rain though. He was the lone soul on the water yesterday, but a couple of gar, a freshwater fish also known as a gar pike, decided to swim up and investigate The Mary Agnes.
He felt good on the water, rejuvenated in both mind and spirit after Kansas City. It was his first rest since Pierre, SD and much needed after crossing the rest of South Dakota and the entire state of Nebraska. He paddled 51 miles yesterday, and after a one mile walk into town, Joe arrived in Lexington, MO. The town is a civil war historic site as the Battle of Lexington, also known as the Battle of Hemp Bales, was fought here in 1861. The Missouri National Guardsmen, led by Major General Sterling Price, attacked the Federal military post, commanded by Colonel James A. Mulligan on September 18th. Some of Price's men used hemp bales as protection as they moved up the bluff towards the military post, and hence the battle's name. Mulligan and his troops surrendered after the third day of the siege . In total, 73 died and 270 were wounded in the battle. A historic landmark is preserved from the battle as Mulligan's men, in an attempt to crush Price's headquarters in town, fired cannonballs, one of which is still lodged in the leftmost pillar of the Courthouse.
A photo of the cannonball (photo from http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/population/photos/ShowCH.asp?FIPS=29107B)
The town is also well known for one of the largest steamboat accidents in the Missouri's history. The Saluda sunk after a boiler explosion, killing over 150 people and orphaning many. Fortunately, the townspeople took in all the newly orphaned children and created a mass grave at the Machpelah Cemetery and a memorial at 13th and Franklin Avenue. (All information gleaned from Norm Miller and the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. More can be learned about this historic city on the Missouri here: http://www.historiclexington.com/)
Today's goal for Joe is to paddle between 55-60 miles. This puts him on schedule to make St. Louis as early as August 3rd, so he'll have plenty of time to rest and recuperate in town. I will speak with him later this afternoon and look forward to updating the Paddling for Parkinson's community then.