Paddled down the long road leading into Fort Defiance. The entire park is six feet underwater. The Mississippi and Ohio rivers are now flowing as one, and there is an impressive amount of fast-moving water. The whirlpools, the rapids at wing dykes, and the approaching waves from upcoming barges all have doubled in size.
With the Ohio now above us, the number of barges has increased. Today, within one short section, there were six upcoming and two downstream barges…plus our three boats…all sharing the same waters. This is when I got my Marine Radio out, and for the first time on this entire journey, felt I truly needed it. Thank you to my son, Jony, for giving it to me. It could have possibly saved my life. The problem is, the barges are not staying in the channels. Upcoming barge captains ignore buoys and seek our shore line for slow moving waters. We found ourselves having to paddle between and among them. Happy to say that the skippers were most polite while instructing us through this congested area without incident.
Sun is coming up over our beautiful campsite --- must pack up now and paddle the 30 miles to New Madrid, Missouri which will be our next stop.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.