Good morning from the confluence of the Heart river and the Missouri river. Mandan, North Dakota!
A big thanks to Deputy Cody Meadows and his K-9 Jack for giving me a lift to the store in Washburn, ND!
A true brother in the crazy world that is law enforcement.
They will always be my family ! wherever I roam now!
Keep the faith all my family who wear that badge!
And please for god sakes take care of each other! http://www.mcleancountynd.gov/departments/sheriffs-office/
Zeusy says the Fire Hazard is moderate today.http://www.parkrec.nd.gov/parks/falsp/falsp.html
Douse your fires. He says you should be doing that anyway!
Thanks to my dear friend Catherine I am re-supplied and portaged around Lake Sakakwea.
Had a great day with her laughing. She slipped away less than 24 hrs later. Headed back to St. Louis. Too many pans on the fire. I had fun!
Took most of the day to move food,gear, water, and canoe 1/4 mile to river. Re-supplied for about 5-6 weeks.
Re-loaded the Canoe and set out early in the evening. I wanted to make a few miles just to get going again. Camped on the sandy bank. Zeusy is fed.
Wind still crazy and paddled thru white caps. Hugging the shore like it’s my favorite teddy bear. Tough
Crossing the river near the spillway of Garrison dam. Wind not being polite. It made me do it. River very wide at this point.
Hope everyone is happy and smiling!
A Great Plains afternoon thunderstorm hit as me and big dog ducked inside the tent for awhile as the sky opened up and poured.
In the middle of it I kept believing that I heard footsteps. Thinking it was some of the girl scouts from the other end of the campground. They are little ones, what were they doing running around in such a storm? I poked my head out.
I did a double take and between my spot and the next one was a fantastic looking blue boat.
For a second I thought the rain gods had blessed me.
Snapping out of my fantasy I saw the owner walking to the shelter carrying his equipment.
“Hey dude need any help? ”
“No I am getting the last load now.” , he said.
Zeusy and I came out of the tent and a few moments later we met Morely.
Morely, originally from upstate NY now living in Idaho was in transition. He was moving back to NY via the Missouri river. Ft Benton, MT. to St. Louis, Mo.
A lifelong sailor who is educated as an engineer, he designed and built the blue boat.
A beauty operated by oars or sail, weighing less than 100 lbs with a draft of about four inches.
The evening went on and after pulling up my chair he indulged my tobacco habit by teaching me to smoke a pipe. This after I hooked him up with a can of hot beef stew Jake, Waylon, and Blake gave me. It wouldn’t be right not to extend to this guy just caught out in a storm the same incredible generosity these three good men gave to me.
The evening wore on with great conversation about how we got here and anecdotes of our adventures.
Bed time came creeping in and he was continuing in the morning, and I was being re-supplied by my dear friend and sailor Catherine as well. I was excited. It was going to be a good day indeed!
Morning came with very hard pushing sustained winds and Morely was soon off quickly pulling the oars of the fantastic blue boat into the current of a river that still draws people looking for adventure!
While Zeusy and I were eating a fantastic breakfast of grilled cheeseburgers I reflected on how this fortunate event came to be.
Yesterday I was one day away from resupply and around 1pm I had long past smoked my last one and was down to one potato and one small can of green beans.
This is when a gentleman named Barry showed up looking at the confluence.
He asked how I faired in the storm the night before. I told him we did well. A little more discussion and it turns out Barry for the last 15 years has been chasing hardcore whitewater rivers to paddle his kayak down.
Even more so he spent 8 months circumnavigating New Zealand paddling a bicycle.
In no time Barry was giving me a lift into Fairview, Mt. to buy smokes and a pepsi. If you know me well those are my vices.
As we drove he shared with me some great stories of his adventures while also saying that he is a Musher near Yellowstone (park) during the Winter.
Born and raised in ND Barry now lives in Bozeman, Mt.
He said his whitewater days may be coming to an end. He has lost a few friends to such extreme adventures and may be getting into something like long distance paddling.
A great guy to talk to and I am sure whatever he is into next will be thrilling. (Did not get a pic, crap)
So later in the evening when I had drank the Pepsi and smoked almost all of smokes of the pack I bought earlier I was sitting there contemplating a few things.
Should we go to bed now and why did I need to use up a lot of my water after flushing my eyes out.
Why I kept my eyes open when spraying insect repellent on my head I have no silly idea.
So two more guys show up to check out the confluence. Shortly after they came over to talk canoes. Renting mine.
There was a Girl Scout troop at the other end of the campground that had six canoes on it. He wondered if those were for rent first. They wanted to paddle around in the confluence.
I told him I had no idea about the other group and was initially negative about mine. I really thought he was just messing with me !
So after talking for a few minutes I realized they really wanted to paddle around in the confluence.
After they reassured me they wouldn’t sink it and were very good swimmers we dumped out the mess of rainwater and mud and in they went.
They paddled accross the Missouri into the fast current of the Yellowstone. They looked like pros.
Soon they paddled back in returned the canoe and we talked for a bit.
Jake and Waylon work over at the Casino in Trenton, ND. and were just out sight seeing. (Pic above)
The both hale from Belcourt, ND which is the Turtle Mountain reservation. Their people own the casino in Trenton.
We talked further about geographical locations of the places they mentioned and Waylon said he likes the very cold Winters because of Ice fishing on his local Lakes. That is sounds like a ton of fun!
Jake says he is going to go to Lewis and Clark State park in ND and do a 13 mile canoe paddle they have there.
We exchanged names and such and they got ready to leave but not before they hooked me up with more smokes and a warm coke with the name Jessica on it as Cokes ad Campaign. I told Waylon all the Jessicas I know are hot so I will take it.
Off they went.
So I sat for awhile enjoying the sunset and they fact my eyes no longer burned and found Waylon on Facebook.
In no time I had a FB message that said they were bringing me food and asked if I needed anything else.
A short time later they returned with their friend Blake with bread,cheese, raw hamburger, a bunch of Mountan Dews. Many large cans of beef stew and chicken. Topped off with a small bag of charcoal to cook the burgers !
Wow! I was floored ! They didn’t have to take the time to do that for us! But so grateful I am they did.
The mosquitos made any more socializing an impossibility and off the went to kick around in Fairview.
I went to bed excited. These four guys truly made my day with their kindness to this complete stranger. And for that I thank each and everyone of you !!!!
By the way, Zeusy loved his cheeseburger breakfast too!