9th of July 2016
Since everybody of my family besides Sharon, Jon`s sister was away, I decided to go floating on the Missouri river. Sharon was so friendly to drive me, before she would go the hospital to see Baba.
When I started inflating my yellow kayak, a man stopped with his bike and asked me to which place I was going to float. When I told him that I was floating to St. Louis he seemed to be surprised but also looking a little bit worried about me. He was a fire fighter of St. Charles, who heard about some accidents. He asked me, if I could wait 10 minutes and he would bring me a live jacket. I was surprised by his generous offer and taking into consideration that the Missouri River was flowing with 3-8 mp/h and I was by myself, a life jacket could not harm. I am sure he knows the river better than me. After 10 minutes he came back with two life jackets and told me, that I do not even have to return it to him. He wished me a good time, I said thank you and started my little adventure. With 30 degrees and no clouds, it was hotter than the weather forecast had promised.
As stupid as I am sometimes, I thought that wearing long trousers and short would be enough to be protected against the sun.
The first part of the Mississippi was wonderful. No annoying, loud streets along the river, no boats on the river and no dams, in the river like in Germany. Just pure nature around you. On the other hand, no restaurants and restrooms on the way. When the Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River I saw the first big barges, which had to take the way through a canal, since they could not ship over the Chain of Rocks. This part was the hardest part of the whole trip, but after a half a minute the big Mississippi calmed down again. The Mississippi is so big, that it takes around five minutes to paddle to the other side. At the same time you should be aware, that the time it takes you to cross the Mississippi, it will move you the double distance down the river.
After I passed the legendary Chain of Rocks Bridge, which used to be Highway 66, it already started to get dark. I knew it was possible, that I would not make it in one day and I was prepared to stay overnight. By sunset, I saw a deer hopping on a small Island. I pulled by boat on a beach of Mosenthein Island, which is neither connected to Missouri nor Illinois with bridges.
While I ate tortellini, I enjoyed the sand under my feet and the last sunbeams. I thought, if the water would have a better quality, this could be one of the nicest beaches only a few miles away from St. Louis. I laid down in my inflating boat, while I used the inflating seat as a pillow and the towel as a blanket. Unfortunately, it felt a lot colder, than the weather forecast had told me. Moreover, the mosquitoes made it impossible for me to fall asleep. In the distance I heard a lot of animals and railways, which were transporting goods from the ships to all kind of places in the country.