Big Day on the Big Muddy

Across the River from Chester, Illinois
September 19, 2019

Dear Family & Friends:

Today was a huge day for me. Because of the fast current, I was able to average 7.5 mph and covered 50 miles from Kimmswick, Missouri to an island in Missouri across from Chester, Illinois. Before today’s journey, I was averaging 25 miles/day.

Today also marks my progress past the half-way point on the River. I have now paddled 1,233 miles! My next milestone will be reached when I have less than 1,000 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

The towboats throw off a much bigger wake. Above St. Louis, the towboats can push up to 15 barges. Below St. Louis, where there is no Lock & Dam system, they can push up to 40 barges. The wake they leave roils the water for miles behind them. I now understand why I was warned to avoid the towboats. A towboat proceeding up River, can throw off a wake that will bounce off the Illinois side of the River and travel over a mile across the River and then bounce off the Missouri side of the River. My poor little canoe is caught in the middle. When I pull off the River at the end of the day, I have to bring my canoe completely out of the River. Otherwise, the waves from the passing towboats will toss it around in the rocks like a rag doll.

Tomorrow, I hope to make it to Cape Girardeau.


(click on images to enlarge)


4 thoughts on “Big Day on the Big Muddy

  1. Bill, a big “wow”– for the 50 miles covered in one day, and for reaching the half way point!

    A tugboat pushing 40 barges must be an amazing site on the river.

    Cape Giradeaux will welcome you on your arrival day– Phil will be your reunion host.

    Blessings, Rick

  2. Yahoo for making the half way point!! I thoroughly enjoy your daily posts~~feel like I’m traveling along the river with you.

    As a firm believer in “karma”, I do believe that all the river angels you are meeting are because of all the kindness you have shown through all the years to others~~ what goes around comes around~~~living the golden rule!!

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