The first paddle in the journey to paddle the length of the Missouri River. That sounds a little overwhelming; let’s just move on!
It was a beautiful day. A and I drove to Weldon Springs in the morning and dropped off his car and we drove my car and the boat to Washington. Even though I am from the St. Louis area, I had never been to Washington; it is a lovely little town. There were probably half a dozen paddlers of kayaks and canoes. Most of them appeared to be heading out to fish. There is a nice wide ramp there with a gravel bank right next to it that made it easy to get under way.
This is a very nice stretch of river. Once under the bridge at Washington, there was very little industry to speak of which made the view all the better. Birds were the main wildlife today. There were probably ten or eleven hawks circling overhead at one point. I don’t believe I have seen that many circling together before. They could have been red-tailed hawks, but, may have been broad-winged. Hmmm, I will have to start paying more attention to that and read up on birds!
A number of geese had found a nice spot to hang out by a nice long stretch of sand, and I spotted four or five egrets and herons along the way.
I averaged 5 mph over the 20 mile paddle. Over the next month or so, I would like to be able to maintain 5 – 6 mph over a 5 hour period, but, this was a pretty good start.
When I took out at Weldon Springs, my car was all ready and where A had left it for me. I was pretty exhausted from the paddle. Hopefully, that will get better the more I paddle!
This week I will try to get the river and weather specs posted and my first draft plan for paddling the Lower Missouri River.