September 18, 2019
Dear Family & Friends:
Before departing St. Louis on September 18, I visited the famous courthouse where the Dred Scott case began. Dred Scott was a slave who sued for freedom for himself and his wife, Harriet, and their two daughters. The case ended up in the United States Supreme Court. In an infamous decision in 1857, the Court ruled that Dred Scott and his family, and all persons of African descent, are not citizens of the United States and therefore can not sue in federal court. The Court also ruled that slaves are property of their owners. The decision sparked public outrage and was one of the causes of the Civil War. The decision was nullified by the 13-15th Amendments to the United States Constitution.
In Grafton, the Bosler Family recommended I have lunch or dinner at the Blue Owl restaurant in Kimmswick, Missouri. So, I pulled off the River in Kimmswick. That’s where I met several wonderful families in four pleasure boats who call themselves “Loopers.” Loopers travel 6,000 miles in the waterways of the Eastern United States and Canada. They welcomed me into their group which had docked for the night at Hoppies Marina in Kimmswick.
I walked a quarter of a mile into Kimmswick and had a great dinner at Smokey Robinsons restaurant. The Blue Owl restaurant was closed. In the evening, we sat on the dock and shared stories. In the morning, my Looper friends served me coffee and an Egg McMuffin and I bid them farewell.
The heat and humidity on the River are brutal and quickly drain the body of energy. The good news is that the current is swift and strong. Above St. Louis, the current runs at about 1-1/2miles per hour. The current is now running at 3 miles per hour. Supplemented by paddling, I hope to manage seven miles per hour.
My plan is to reach Cape Girardeau on September 20. In Cape Girardeau, I will meet Phil Brinson, a very good friend who I met while rafting the Colorado River many years ago. I will take a rest day so Phil can showcase his town.
(click on photos to enlarge)