This is the 121st Sunset Race. I’m surprised to say this, but I wasn’t looking forward to this one. I’m a fair weather paddler. Sort of, I’ll go out an heat and cold, and I really love snow paddling. What I don’t like is getting wet. Seems crazy to say and admit, but its true. Today, it was raining all day.
Before I left the house, I put my Kokatat dry suit on. This piece of gear would make the day much better. I loaded the boat in the rain, but only my hands and head got wet. Once loaded, I headed out to the river.
Its interesting how many people showed up for this paddle. We were here to paddle, so we took off for our race!
The photo above is where things got interesting. There was a light fog across the whole river. Not the kind that is dangerous and prevents visibility, but just a small amount. As we came downstream back to the put in, we paddled near the VFW post. They have a large LED security light over the whole area. This light created a laser light show effect across the whole river. As we passed the different size trees and their assorted branches, we would eclipse the light momentarily. This light show happened repeatedly for about 5 minutes as we floated by in awe!
I wish I had words that could begin to describe this. I almost wish for a photo that could capture it. But I do have a memory in my head that forms one of many reasons that I paddle the river every month. The surprises seem endless. Everybody should come out and make an adventure of their own!
Today was our 120th Sunset Race. Ten years of going out paddling the second Thursday of the month. Unfortunately, I was very sick that day. There was no way I would be able to paddle, but I drove out with champagne to celebrate before going back home to sleep.
Joe in the front and Jo Jo next to me. We’re the main crew for the Sunset Race. Nobody better to celebrate with!
We love paddling and have tons of equipment, but sometimes you just want to relax. Tonight, Danelle and I had a date night with Mike Clark of Big Muddy Adventures. They offer monthly floats that happen during the full moon. The full moon float includes paddling in a large voyager canoe (about 14 people) and dinner out on the Mississippi river. Add in the full moon, and its an amazing experience!
Danelle and I standing by the river waiting for the start.
One of the voyager canoes that went on the trip.
Another voyager and support boat arrive.
From what I understand, this was a different paddle than the normal full moon float. The Mississippi river is up a bunch, so we had to put in at this ramp on the Missouri river. we paddled out into the confluence of the Mississippi before stopping for dinner on a sand bar.
Dinner here was amazing. The sand bar was big enough for us to all have plenty of space.
The fire was great for cooking dinner and necessary to stay warm. Maybe I’ll dress myself warmer next time!
It was a great night, but unfortunately a weeknight, so we had to call it earlier than any of us wanted as most of us worked the next day. Still an amazing way to get out and see something different!
Occasionally when the weather is perfect, Jo Jo and I go out paddling because its amazing outside. Today was one of those days. She claims that adventure just happens when I’m around, but I think the river gets all the credit. Today,we found a CRT TV floating in the river. So JoJo held it by the cord and I paddled us to shore. It probably took us 10 minutes to load it into be boat without damaging anything and it barely fit at that. For good measure, we also got a giant tire as well!
The TV was so heavy, we backed my van down the ramp to the water. Then we tipped the canoe to get the TV floating in the water again. The last step was to go knee deep into the water so we didn’t have to bend over to pick up the heavy TV. From there, it went into the back of the van and got placed on top of the tire near the bathroom. The parks trash people have to hate us in the summer, but it sure makes the river look nicer!
If you’re curious about our event, its always the second Thursday of each month. Events are announced about 1 week in advance posted at the following 2 locations.
Scroll to the last post to see it.
And on Facebook
I wonder how many more times I can say that the Sunset Race provided me with new entertainment. It seems like every time I go out to the river, a new experience awaits me. I started this one my favorite way. I went out about 90 minutes before the start and got in a unicycle ride.
When I got back from the unicycle ride a few paddlers had already shown up and more were arriving as we were getting close to starting. I had yet to put my boat in the water, but others has. That is when we noticed a hot air balloon coming our way very low. It eventually landed in a field about a 1/2 mile from the ramp!
Here is the view from the ramp.
Here is the view from the water.
And in case you were wondering, we do paddle during the sunset!
A view from after we finished.
Hope some of you come out and paddle with us!