Thursday, July 23, 2009

Through Omaha, NE


Yesterday was a great day, filled with the friendliness that the Midwest is known for. After a later start on the river than usual, Joe was able to put in some solid miles before a stop at lunch for a phone interview with Paul Guggenheimer of South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He hosts Dakota Midday and hosted Joe for 15 minute live phone interview from his satellite phone. The interview was a question and answer format with listeners calling in on the latter half. Kelly Lane, the paddler from Rapid City, called in as well as a few other South Dakota natives. Dakota Midday can be found online at Click on the “Wednesday” tab to go to the interview in mp3 format. Joe’s section starts at 17 minutes 30 seconds and ends around 33 minutes 45 seconds, although the rest of the program is interesting as well. The program is archived in .rm format, so you might have to download an application to play it. The archived interview can be found at I was able to speak with Paul later in the day and he is interested in having Joe back on the program closer to his arrival in New Orleans, so stay tuned for that.

Joe also spoke with a local newspaper in Nebraska, the Bellevue Leader. They have a brief write up of the trip, which can be found here.

Joe crossing under the Grand Army of the Republic bridge in Bellevue, Nebraska. (photo taken by Zachary McDonald courtesy of the Bellevue Leader)

Joe bumped into a few more fine folks on the river, breaking up the monotony of paddling. He ran into a school group from Omaha just on the water’s edge, who graciously gave him 2 apples, which he much appreciated. Joe also ran into two men from the Nebraska fisheries who were tracking down pallid sturgeon. It is an endangered species that the two gentlemen where tagging and then later tracking by means of sonar.

A photo of the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) (photo from wikipedia)

Later on, around his final destination of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, Joe conversed with Harold, a local who remembers the good ol’ days of the Missouri, before all the dams. They talked, sharing stories of how the river changed and what it once was. Harold also left him with a quote that Joe wanted to share with the blog. “Sometimes, when people ask me if I’m afraid to die or not, I say no, because I've known so many great people. Whether I go to heaven or hell, I’m bound to know someone.” Joe, through his 49 days thus far on the river, has met so many great people and would like to thank all of you for your support.

Last night, after arriving in Plattsmouth, Joe met up with Dave and Lynn, a pair of physicians that Joe met earlier in his trip at camp. They were awesome, making him a steak dinner, very appropriate for Omaha. Joe wanted to express how great the company and meal was and thank them for the hospitality and companionship.

Today, Joe’s goal is to paddle 70 miles, a little bit farther than the 50 miles he put in yesterday. If he makes it that far, that’ll put him in shape to reach Kansas City Sunday or Monday. I will speak with Joe tomorrow and look forward to updating the Paddling for Parkinson’s community then.

Paddle on,

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