Since the last post, Joe has been on a physical and mental grind on the Mississippi. The weather was miserably hot and humid for him on Monday; Joe said, “it’s so hot out that I think my eyeballs are sweating.” Monday was, what he felt, his hardest day, mentally and physically so far on his journey. I spoke with him midway through the day, when he was waiting for a storm to pass, and he still felt no relief from the heat, feeling as if he was in a sauna all day. After our midday chat, the weather and his mental state improved. It was still a hot night, but the cooling of the weather helped him physically recover.
Today (Tuesday), Joe felt more relief from the heat. The morning was overcast and cooler, affording him a great morning on his approach to Cape Girardeau. He felt better both mentally and physically, seeming reinvigorated after a cooler morning. Joe met with a local journalist, Kit Doyle with the Southeast Missourian Newspaper, who snapped a few photos.
Joe in Cape Girardeau (All photos courtesy of Kit Doyle/Southeast Missourian Newspaper)
Joe is currently camped a few miles outside of Cape Girardeau and excited about his entry into the lower Mississippi tomorrow. Since St. Louis, he has paddled 130 miles and his goal tomorrow is to camp up below Cairo, Illinois. Cairo is the town where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers meet, further widening the Mississippi.
In his journeys today, Joe stopped on Grand Island in the Mississippi. It is a noteworthy location as Gary Lucy, the painter Joe met in Washington, MO, has a great painting of the island and was memorable to him. Joe also stopped at the Trail of Tears State Park, a historical area marking a dark time in our country’s history. The park marks the site where the Cherokee Indians crossed the Mississippi in the winter of 1838-1839 under Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act of 1830. Thousands of Cherokees lost their lives in this forced relocation of the Native Americans for the encroaching white settlers. More can be read about the park and the Trail of Tears here and here.
As stated above, Joe will be entering the lower Mississippi tomorrow and I look forward to updating the Paddling for Parkinson’s community at that time.