Ruskey to the Rescue
Paddled the last three days with river brothers, John Ruskey and Mark River. I have been blessed, not only for being able to do this expedition at 80 years old, but for the opportunities it has provided me. I feel so grateful to be enjoying river time with some of the most well-known adventure paddlers of our generation.
The time spent with John and River has been more valuable than words can express. I needed this morale boost…and they came to my rescue. I was tired, and they were there. Got me through the last three days. Was a relaxed a and peaceful paddle with great food and shared stories. They quite possibly saved the completion of the Expedition.
John Ruskey and the fine folks at Quapaw Canoe Company are the creators of the #rivergator, which is a priceless guide to the Lower Mississippi. I have found the information it contains to be my most valuable source of information. I highly recommend anyone paddling, or just interested in the lower Mississippi, review this original creation as often as possible.
As I get closer to the end, I am aware of things I feel clearly now as being the most important to my life. Find myself often reflecting on how good returning home will be. I miss my wife Merriam, my children Jony, James and Sunshine, and my grand children, Bella and Isaiah.
The uneventful 30 miles paddled today got me thinking about the true meaning of life. River time has slowed me down, making it easier to use some time to reflect back on the past. Never realized how much I would miss Richard Sojourner until he was gone. He was my on-water inspiration. A cog is now missing. I pray the Doctors will let him return soon.
I think of the children out there like AnnA with Type 1 Diabetes. How society has seemingly forgotten them, not getting equal research funding that many other diseases receive. Even though I am tired, and I miss my family and my paddle partner Richard, the quest to complete this journey will continue for now.
I will paddle out from St. Francisville, Louisiana this Friday morning with Austin Graham. Austin rejoining me on the water is also a vital cog to the potential completion of this journey. My thanks to him and his family.
8/6/2015 08:08:40 am
Dale, a wonderful tribute to John, Mark, Richard and your support team. It's on my bucket list to do some paddling down south in "Gator" land. Quapaw canoe company here I come!
8/6/2015 09:39:05 am
I was thinking what a small river is the Mississippi near its source and how it grew to became such a huge beast as your trip progressed. I wonder how many have grown a tree that became quite massive with the quiet passage of time. Or, even of habits in one's life that grew and grew to become overwhelming. Dale, I am so glad the you have the support in this project that is more massive than you imagined.
8/7/2015 01:02:28 am
Dale, you say you were tired? Boy, I sure didn't see anything but your good spirit and liveliness! We had to work hard to keep up with you! I am inspired by your humbleness, thoughtfulness, and cheerfullness. And on top of it all, you are a monster paddler! You kept a little ahead of two young guys on the river! Many river blessings and more power to you in this last stretch, the home stretch! We love you, Dale, John, River, Mad Dog, Ojay, and all the Mighty Quapaws of the Lower Mississippi River.
8/10/2015 07:36:20 am
Dale, you the most awesome spirit of anyone I know, much less any 80 yo. I am continually amazed and feel blessed to know you, and I know you so appreciate, love, and miss your beautiful family! You have the most wonderful, loving, and supportive family, friends, and paddling community, along with the River Angels God has provided over and over again. Much love to you and prayers for continued health, perseverance, safety, and ultimate success in reaching the Gulf!
8/8/2021 09:38:07 am
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I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.