I was awakened by the sound of what I thought were little feet, some kind of critters, running around on top of my tent at crack of dawn. Still confused with having been awakened so abruptly, it took me few moments to realize it was raining. Big Muddy Mike and Janet Sullens Moreland cooked a great breakfast. Walked over the levee, where we said our goodbyes to Janet and Mike.
You may have noticed a shell hanging around my neck recently. When our group was at River Angel John McCoy’s house in Hannibal, MO, I presented the shell to the team. In representation of a “complaint stone”. I apologized for all of my own complaining since the journey began, and I agreed to wear the complaint stone until such time as there was someone else who complained. Since we had to pack our tents in the rain this morning, I found the opportunity to pass on the complaint stone to Richard Sojourner. We've had fun all week saying things like, "That sounded like a complaint to me!". Poor Richard now bears the weight of the stone until he catches me, or someone else on the team, complaining.
It only took 20 minutes to paddle to the fast back waters of the Mississippi from Fort Charters, Illinois where we camped last night.
Paddled 35 miles today. Camped 10 miles past Chester, Illinois on east shore looking at the south end of Rock Wood Island and North end of Liberty Island. Very difficult to find a campsite site in these high water conditions. All places we tried were underwater. Fortunately, there was this little piece of heaven. After cleaning up the grounds a bit, it turned out to be great. Recommend this site to anyone paddling in flooded conditions because the relatively clear sand is level and piled higher than the recent waters reached. Nice canopy above as well. Spoke with Big Muddy and he is going to add this campsite to the River Gator as good for high water conditions.
Lying here in my tent, I notice a big hollow where my stomach use to be, above my belt line. Not even hungry, but must eat in the tent tonight. Weather has been taking it's toll on conditions and my body.
Considering not leaving here until the sun shines again.
Take care, and if so inclined say a prayer for us.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.