Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cooper's Landing to Hermann, MO

Hello all you bloggers out there from Hermann, MO!

What a great past two days I have had out on the water. I wanted to first blog about my itinerary for the next week and then discuss what has been happening in the wild, wonderful world of the Mighty Missouri.

8/1 and 8/2 - Hermann, MO: Gary and Marsha, the owners of the Spirit Hill Guest House have put me up for the both nights. On 8/2 they will be hosting a party for Parkinson's, an open house on Spirit Hill to allow me to present my trip to many folks around Hermann as well as fund raise towards my goal of $20,000.

8/3 Hermann, MO to Augusta Boat Ramp, MO with a lunchtime stop-over in Washington City: A flotilla of paddlers will be accompanying me from Hermann to various takeout points along the river. I will be stopping off for a mid-day break at the Washington City ramp before continuing on to the Augusta boat ramp.

8/4 Augusta Landing to Confluence State Park, MO: I finally will get to see where old Mo' drops in to the Miss! After arriving at the confluence Judge and Mrs. Hoven will be picking me up and taking me back to Washington City, MO where they will be hosting me for several days.

8/9 Depart down the Mississippi and point my nose towards the Gulf!

Ok, now onto the past two days!
(Cooper's Landing)

When I arrived at Coopers Landing( on 7/31, I was immediately struck by how unique a spot this area was. A potpourri of unique styles and folks blended together to create a beautiful mix of people enjoying river life. There were folks who had biked in on the Katy Trail(, there were college folks, and there were genuine river rats like myself. After introducing myself to Mike Cooper and Kara, I went and set up my tent and started cooking dinner. Before too long, Jodi and Jon, reporters from the Columbia Daily Tribune came and interviewed me which was a lot of fun. Just after the interview ended, the live music started and the vibe really picked up. There were just so many people outside, enjoying the fantastic weather, having such a good time that I couldn't help but think that this is what life was really all about. As the sun set, I slowly worked my way into my tent and drifted off to sleep. I had big plans for the morning.
(Sunset from Cooper's Landing)

Pitter, pitter, pitter. That was what I heard when I awoke. A light drizzle was falling, where there had been sun the night before a wet blanket covered the river. At this point I have become accustomed to the rain, so I knew that all was not lost; I would just need a stronger cup of coffee. After a radio interview and a delicious breakfast generously provided by the folks at Cooper's Landing I took off in the rain.

(Jefferson City, MO from the river)

After getting in my boat at 9 am, I would end up not getting out of the boat until I arrived at Hermann, MO, 73 miles down river. The day was one of those days that I dream about paddling. The rain kept the temperature cool and the wind down until the late afternoon when the setting sun warmed me gently. As I kept paddling and the miles ticked away my perception of the normal pains and discomforts of sitting in the boat seemed to dissolve. My muscles seemed to work in rhythm with the music blasting through my .mp3 player and I really felt I could paddle endlessly. Paddlers find themselves in a unique situation while on the water. They are caught between two fluid mediums (air and water) and sometimes time just disappears. Today was one of those days. As I arrived in Hermann to see the smiling faces of Gary and Marsha of Spirit Hill Guest House(; I was really rejuvenated even though my body was tired.

(73 miles straight)

Gary and Marsha are very generous and are letting me stay at there guest house for two nights as well as hosting a party to help raise awareness about Parkinson's and my cause. Spirit Hill is a really beautiful house overlooking the Missouri River and I feel very lucky to have been invited to such a wonderful place with such great hosts.

(Gary and Marsha picking me up in Hermann, MO)

Well, Jared is going to be taking of the blogs again for a couple days. Then I will have some more blogging time with you all when I am resting in Washington, MO with the Hovens before my final push.


( View from the backyard of Spirit Hill)

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