April can bring any type of weather and today was actually fantastic. Some of us are barefoot in shorts and t-shirt!
Usually Hogan is the one who takes epic voyages on the Missouri River. This time, on September 23-27, 2017, I got to take our Kruger Cruiser on Paddle Mo – a 5 day, 100 mile journey from Hermann, Missouri, to the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. I am on the board of the organization that runs the event, Stream Teams United, so I joined the trip to provide event support as a safety boat.
The Kruger is not a solo vessel, so I found a fellow Stream Teamer, Sarah, who was interested in being in this ‘safety boat’ with me. As a safety boat, we were in radio contact with the shore team and the other safety boats. We were there in case anyone needed us, but thankfully, our time on the water was incident free. This means that we were able to chat with the other 90+ paddlers and enjoy the scenery that the Missouri River has to offer.
Not all of our time was spent in our boats. We stopped for lunches in local diners and feasted on boxed lunches full of locally-grown treats along gravel bars. At the end of the day, we would walk or be shuttled to our campsite. Dinners were more local cuisine, including a stop at the Montelle Winery for pizza and (surprise!) wine. The vista over the river from their outdoor dining area reminded me of the seating at my other favorite Missouri winery, Les Bourgeois. I will be back! I also have to mention the tasty meals provided by Seed, Sprout, Spoon – we had their food for three meals on this trip as well as another catered event and have been impressed! With as much paddling as I did, I had hoped to lose a couple of pounds, but with all of the great food, I never had a chance!
If you have been thinking about paddling in the Missouri River, but are too intimidated to sign up for a race and too concerned to paddle alone, the Paddle Mo trip might be just what you are looking for! There are many experienced paddlers and plenty of support crew. The pace is more than just a float trip, but nothing like a race. I made several new friends on the trip and was able to reconnect with some folks I haven’t seen in years. Thanks to all of the people who made this journey possible!!
Until you have a chance to go yourself, please enjoy a few more photos below.
I asked Bernie in passing if I could borrow his 4 person aluminum boat for the South Dakota Kayak Challenge. He surprised me by saying yes. So I was going to pick up the boat from him with a test float. He agreed to go out with myself and my kids for the test paddle. Of course, we went to the flooded area in Valley Park from the Meramec river.