Friday, August 14, 2009

Past Cairo, Illinois to New Madrid, MO


Well, it is official, Joe has begun the last leg of his journey with the start of the lower Mississippi. Similar to Huck and Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Joe passed by Cairo, Illinois and continued on down the Mississippi. Although his pass by was a deliberate one….New Orleans or bust! The river is unbelievably large now; Joe says it approaches the horizon on each side. Sometimes it is as if he is not moving, feeling so small because of the size of the river. The current is fast moving, although it is hard to tell with no point of reference.

The Confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers (Mississippi River on Left, Ohio River on Right) (from NASA)

Last night (Wednesday), I spoke with Joe while he was camped up, 6 miles south of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. There was a muskrat cruising around in the water and birds taking a dip before sunset. Even though it was sunny all day, the humidity was down, affording Joe a great day on the river; no more talk of the unbearable heat (although I’m sure that could change soon). The night continued the great weather, with the temperature dipping down in to the 50’s. Joe camped out under the stars, saying they were unbelievable, brilliant from being away from the city lights. He could just hear Seven Bridges Road by the Eagles in his head as he was lying out. You can listen to the song here.

Joe continued on the Big Muddy today with another long day. He put in around 50 miles, ending up camping near New Madrid, MO. Today ‘s weather was more of the same, very welcome as it should be heating up by Sunday. Tomorrow (Friday), he will be meeting up with our aunt and uncle, Betty and Michael of Washington D.C., who are on their own adventure through the south right now. It will be great for Joe to see some friendly faces tomorrow and reenergize him before a push to Memphis and continuing on down the Mississippi. His goal tomorrow is to reach Caruthersville, MO, putting him in good shape to reach Memphis Saturday or Sunday. I will hear from Joe tomorrow, probably after his meet up with Betty and Michael, and look forward to updating the community at that time.

Paddle on,

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