Costa Mesa, California

December 14, 2023

Dear Family & Friends:

I am home with my family. Here is my account of the last two days on Mighty Mo.

December 10. My day began with breakfast with Brian Mason at the Bike Stop Cafe in St. Charles. Brian is an ultra-marathon runner, martial arts expert and aspiring climber. He and his family live in St. Charles. Brian then drove me to the Boat House Museum where my canoe is stored. Brian, Bob & Steve helped me transport my canoe back down to the River. I was on the water at 9:15 am. The day was frigid cold, but paddling conditions were good. I was closely watching for the river mile signs indicating the distance to the confluence of the Missouri River and the Mississippi River, approximately 30 miles down River. I reached the confluence at 3:00pm. I turned right and started down the Mississippi River. Approximately five miles down the Mississippi, I reached the famous Chain of Rocks. Steve Ohrt and St. Louis Bill were waiting for me. We pulled my canoe out of the River and portaged around the Chain of Rocks. The Chain of Rocks is a set of treacherous rapids that stretches across the River. The rapids are so dangerous a bypass channel has been built so boats do not have to navigate over the Chain of Rocks. In 2019, when I paddled down the Mississippi River, I missed the bypass channel and inadvertently paddled through the Chain of Rocks. When I emerged from the Chain of Rocks, it took me 30 minutes to calm down and stop shaking. St. Louis Bill took my canoe to his home and I drove with Steve to his home where I spent the night.

December 11. This was my last day of my 2,341 mile journey. I paddled from the Chain of Rocks to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The distance travelled was only 12 miles but the paddling conditions were very difficult with consistently stiff headwinds, large waves and whitecaps. The Mighty Mississippi was as tough as its cousin the Mighty Mo. Still, I love these two Rivers. A large group of friends and River Angels, greeted me at the Arch. Some of them drove over 5 hours to see me complete my trip. I love all of them.

This was a wonderful adventure, from start to finish. It was full of challenges, which is what I expected and wanted. I learned a lot about the River, the River Angels, the people who live along the River, my paddling companions, my canoe and myself.

December 12. I returned home to a family I cherish more than anything in the world.

December 13. I had a nice dinner with some of my family at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

At some point in the future I will convert my 1,531 photos and 723 videos into a movie which I will post in the Gallery on my website, I’ll let you know when it is posted.

Thanks to all of you for following my trip and offering your support, encouragement and prayers. This meant so much to me and sustained me during the difficult times on the River. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

God bless all of you.



Brian & Steve

The last bridge on the Missouri River

Mileage countdown

Two miles to the confluence

One mile to the confluence

The confluence

The Mississippi River

Arriving at the Chain of Rocks portage

The Chain of Rocks

The Chain of Rocks bridge

JB1RD, Steve & St. Louis Bill

The Gateway Arch



Los Tres Amigos

Mark Fingerhut

Bruce & Melissa

Maury Poscover

Kelly & Zoe Johns

Giving my beloved canoe a thank you kiss

Celebration dinner

Steve & Kathy Ohrt

Reuniting with Ollie at dinner

Dinner in Costa Mesa with some of my family