September 25, 2019
Dear Family & Friends:
Every day brings a new adventure and a reaffirmation of the essential goodness of humanity.
Phil drove me to Fort Defiance Park where I was able to see the confluence of the Ohio River and the Mississippi River. Then, he gave me a tour of Cairo, Illinois.
I launched at 11:30 am. Ten minutes downriver, the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers merged. Because of the increased volume of water moving down the River, I was expecting a big boost in the current and my River speed. The opposite occurred. I was really disappointed that the merger of these two great rivers slowed me down significantly.
After six hours of paddling, I started to set up my tent on a sandy bank on the Missouri side of the River. A towboat pulled up pushing a car ferry. Captain Jeremy Newsom suggested I load my canoe and gear on his ferry so he could take me across River to the town of Hickman, Kentucky where there is a restaurant. I gladly accepted this generous offer.
When we arrived in Hickman, Jeremy suggested I stay in a local church where I could get a shower and sleep inside. He drove up to the church and obtained permission for me to spend the night inside the church. Then, he drove me to a pizza restaurant and I ordered a pizza to be delivered to the church. After the pizza stop, Jeremy dropped me off at the West Hickman Baptist Church. He said he would pick me up the following morning and take me to breakfast and then back to the ferry where my canoe and gear were stored.
Ten minutes after my arrival at the church, Pastor Jason Sipes showed up and introduced himself. He showed me all of the facilities available to me, including a couch convertible into a bed, a shower, a laundry room, a stove, a fully stocked kitchen and an exercise room pictured below. Later, two church members came in and welcomed me. I took a shower, and 30 minutes later my pizza arrived.
I slept well in God’s house. Jeremy arrived the following morning and took me to a restaurant for breakfast. I was looking forward to paying for our meal, but he beat me to it. Then, he gave me a Dorena-Hickman Ferry t-shirt. He also shared apps and printed maps that will help me navigate the River.
Upon arrival back on the Missouri side of the River, where I was picked up yesterday, Jeremy gave me his expensive marine radio in case mine is lost or broken. He said he has lots of these radios. I was back on the River at 9 am.
It’s easy to get discouraged and cynical at the bad news we are bombarded with every day by the print and electronic media. This trip has convinced me that the overwhelming majority of people are kind, decent, unselfish, loving and caring and want to do the right thing for their fellow human beings.
(click on images for better resolution)