Saturday, October 15, 2016

Heading West to Missouri

So much has happened since my last post so here's a summary, we went from northern PA to the middle of the state to visit my friends, Rachael and Andrew.  It was a joy, as always, to see them, we got the opportunity to meet a few friends, one of her sisters and brother in law.  We had an amazing time meeting them all and eating wonderful food.  From there we finally started to move west.  We spent an extremely sketchy night at Timber ridge lake in Southern Ohio, it was a beautiful setting but the evening, I'll have to tell you about in person.

 The next morning we drove to Serpent Mound, it was something Matthew wanted to see, we continued on to Louisville, KY and took time wandering the city.  We spent one night and full day in the national forest in Indiana to rest.  The following day we drove to Huzzah, MO to meet our friend Adam at his father's farm.  Adam as a person gives off a very Zen vibe.  He is not anxious, not easy to upset, loves people, animals and plants alike.  His passion is for ecology and creating a happy ecosystem.  Matthew and I hope to absorb as much knowledge from him as possible.  We met two friends of his that were visiting, Russell and Yev.  They were really nice guys that live in the area.  They were leaving that evening so we didn’t spend much time with them.  In the middle of the night another set of friends showed up, Matt and Jeff.  They are both great guys and we hope to see them again soon.
A few photos from the farm

 Dinner by Matt

 Cutest dog!

We explored the farm in Huzzah for a few days then went to Adams house in Catawissa for several days.  Adam took some time to show us around one of his billionaire clients property, THAT was an amazing day!   It is 2,400 acres of versatility with the purpose of being a happy animal habitat for hunting.  His client uses this land to play.  We hopped on a fancy ATV and rode all over the land as Adam discussed each area and what he’s done so far and plans to do.  It was one of the best days out here.  Adam had to hit the road and allowed us to use his place while he is gone.  We stayed for 2 more days, one we spent at the City museum in St. Louis and wandering the city, the other we shopped and prepped for a 3 day canoe trip on the Current River.

This was our latest adventure and I skimmed a lot of awesome things to get to it. We got on the water by 930am.  Since we were floating down river we didn’t paddle much.  I wanted to enjoy the views and take it slow.  We mainly paddled to keep straight and not run into things.

It was a clear sunny day with a high of 80.  In the first 5 minutes we saw a few deer crossing the river.  As the day went on we only saw a few other canoes, we were alone most of the time.  I had a desire to go topless on the water and took advantage of the seclusion, it felt great!

We came upon a cave with a spring that we explored, saw bald eagles and more fish than we’ve seen this entire time exploring.

At lunch time we landed on a rock bar across from a cliff with a deep swimming hole.

It was warm enough that we decided to jump in, then we got our feet wet.  The water was way colder than I expected!  I was backing out but Matthew was determined.  He dove in and I knew I had to get in as well.  It was hilarious to watch him jump right out because it was so cold.  I did the same and we both laughed feeling happy and invigorated.

We flowed down the river for about 6-7 hours until we found a nice rock bar to call home for the night.

That evening it rained a little so that by morning it was damp with grey skies.  The weather was supposed to be another beautifully sunny day so I was disappointed but thankfully prepared.  We dressed in raincoats and got back on the water.

It was a little cool with the rain so we paddled to keep our temperature up.  I was still a little chilly, but still had fun on the water.  My favorite part of this day was seeing a river otter, it came right up to our boat and startled me so I yelped, which sadly scared it off.  We saw more bald eagles, king fishers and fish.  The rain never fully ceased so we had to dump out the water from the canoe several times.  We stopped at Round Spring to explore the spring.  It is deep enough to fit the statue of Liberty and still have 5 feet of water!

 We found a nice rock bar to stay the night just as the rain stopped and the sun started to poke through.  We had enough time in the sun to lay out our things and got most of it dry before the rain started again.

  We were grateful to have that hour or so of sun to dry ourselves, things and cook dinner.  The rest of the evening was spent under our tarp in our sleeping bags, sipping hot cocoa and reading to one another.

The next day it was not raining but the temperature had dropped and it was a completely grey sky.  With no end of the cold in sight we layered up and continued down the river.  Again due to the temperature we decided to paddle most of the time to help keep warm.  This meant ending the trip sooner than we’d like but the experience was still fantastic.  We saw three more otters that day, a young deer buck with only two little horns and seeing a bald eagle was becoming normal.  We were told of wild horses roaming around but never saw them.  We got out of the water by late afternoon and headed out to our next campsite.