2018 MR340 – 7/26/2018

If you haven’t heard of the MR340, you should. Its a 340 mile paddling race from Kansas City to St. Louis on the Missouri  river. I’ve done it a few times and written about it on here. This year, I didn’t paddle, but I did volunteer at the Klondike ramp and of course go to the finish line after work on Friday to celebrate.

First, our time at Klondike. I was scheduled from 6 pm to midnight on Thursday night at Klondike ramp. Corvin couldn’t make it, but Sonora came out with me. We started by going to the finish line in St. Charles as its mostly on the way. I have tons of friends from the race and one of them, Jon Marble was about to finish. I was looking forward to welcoming him at the finish line. He had a rough race, having his boat broken half way through. He fixed it and continued on determined to finish the race.

Before he came in, I got a frantic message from his wife, Colleen. She asked me to call her ASAP. I called and got voice mail and called a second time to no avail. I messaged her that the number didn’t work. I gave her my number and she called me. When caller ID showed up, she was off by 1 number. Turns out that her son was in a car accident (not his fault) and she couldn’t make it to the finish line. I assured her that I would drop everything and make sure Jon knew all was safe.

At this point, I contacted JoJo to let her know that I was going to be late and what was going on. JoJo and I planned to hand out Klondike Bars at the Klondike ramp. Since she was off work, she did all the leg work with dry ice and getting the Klondike bars. So she headed to the ramp ahead of me.

Back at the finish line, I  greeted Jon and let him know what was going on. I also managed to perform a live stream of the finish on Facebook so Colleen could watch at the hospital while she waited for results (no serious injuries). It was a bittersweet way to finish the race, but I helped keep them all together!

Jon coming in strong for a finish.

Jon at the finish line.

Once Jon was in and settled, another close friend of his was there to help out. So I headed out to the Klondike ramp to assist paddlers till midnight.

The feel at the ramp was electric. All of the people here are just 27 miles from finishing an epic adventure. This is the last rest/supply before they go on to finish their race!

At the ramp, our job was to help the racers out. Here, you can see JoJo carefully pulling out a boat.

Here are two safety boats. These motorboats often spend the whole week following the race down the river and helping out paddlers that get into trouble.

Time for a quick beverage break. It looks like we moved in with these three chairs, but we are here for a long time 🙂

Once we gave away the last Klondike bar, the only sensible thing to do was pour the dry ice into the river and stand in the fog.

And of course, the race wouldn’t be complete without going back to the finish line on Friday to celebrate a great race!

Here is a 12 person stand up paddle board that finished the race!

Mandy and Di are a force to be reckoned with. They even get their own signs!

One of the coolest things about this race is the any boat and participate as long as its paddled or pedaled. In this case, it was both. Its the first paddle wheel boat I’ve ever seen, and very cool!

If you have never done the race, come out and volunteer, you’ll be hooked!

Hogan Haake

 

 

New Haven to St. Charles Training – 6/28/2016

A group of us training for the MR340 met in the early hours in New Haven, MO to have a training run. For this paddle, I decided to test out a new camera setup on the boat to try and get the best possible video. The first video is the paddle iteself.

We stopped at the Klondike ramp for what turned out to be lunch. I got out of the boat and walked around while people ate their food. I ended up barefoot and wiggling my toes in the sand/mud. What happened next totally amazed me. I sunk down to my knees!

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As I continued to step around, the sand turned into what I can only describe as quicksand. Stand too long and you sunk into it. Step quickly and you could go over it. I didn’t test how deep I could go as it was quite hard to get out when getting knee deep! See it in action from the video!

I wish I had gotten a longer video. Just after I got out, JoJo stepped in it and promptly sank. Its particularly funny because she weighs about 80 pounds less than me.

The river is always there to entertain us if we’re willing to participate!

Hogan Haake