The bad, the good, and the ugly all reared their heads today.
Bad news is, I left the rubber cover to the charge port on my iPhone Six Plus off. Water condensed on the camera lens, so none of the great videos or photos of this very special day are usable. (The phone is fine, just poor quality of videos.)
There were several good news happenings. With John McCoy alongside the team, we had our own personal guide as we paddled from Quincy, Illinois to Mark Twain's home town of Hannibal, Missouri.
The drama started almost immediately as we paddled along side Lock # 21. Full to the brim, with overflowing waters, we made our way to the far side from the locks, preparing to paddle the spillway. I started SUP paddling far ahead to gain better vision. I was able to see that the waters flowing over the spillway were paddle-able. Not only possible, but I became the first member of our team to SUP through a Dam without using the lock.
The weather was perfect as we talked, socializing all the way to Hannibal. Paddling under the same bridge Mark Twain must have dreamed of was a thrilling experience.
On our arrival in Hannibal, we were blessed that my sister Judi Silvey and her daughter Shannon Williamson had arrived. Shannon is the one that has been taking my notes, videos and photos posting the to this website. When I saw them waiving from a riverboat dock, I just wanted to hug their necks right then but had to wait until we we could find land access.
The ugly part of the day was that the only place to land was behind the high flood gates on a sidewalk. The receding river left thick, soupy, mushy mud that was, in places as deep as the top of my shoes. We had to wheel the boats through the mud, over the dike, then back down to street level on the other side of the flood gate. Though muddy, and somewhat discouraged with the muddy conditions, we were very soon blessed with accommodations worthy of a king. First stop was the Mark Twain Brewing Co., where we all enjoyed a much-needed cold beer and delicious food. The offerings at John McCoy’s home were so perfect that I can’t even put it into words. It has just been a wonderful, wonderful day, with much to be thankful for.
I have another series of "You know you have been on the river too long when" --- phrases written for your entertainment in a future blog. Stay tuned!
Most of these photos were taken from the riverbank by Judi Silvey & Shannon Williamson, who were there to greet the crew as they paddled into Hannibal.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.