Its always nice to have friends. In this instance, JoJo called and asked if I wanted to paddle part of the flooded Meramec river. I’m always up for that. I packed up and met them at a place I’ve never paddled before in south Saint Louis. Here are a few shots of our paddle.
The water was nearly over the roof of this shelter. Jason was up on a structure that holds the electrical transformer above the flooding they know will occasionally happen.
Hard to tell what is flooded vs. normal Meramec River.
The best part of this whole paddle was what I called the “water trail”. We paddled through a wooded area where a paved bicycle path is. The water was high, but still clear enough to look down and see it. What made it feel like a trail was the fact that we had a tree canopy over our heads and a clear path ahead. Very cool feeling. Then we found this sign and were able to pull it up out of the water for a photo before putting it back. Its about 5 feet over the trail here.
We just finished recovering this tire that we would dispose of later. There is also a traffic cone. Trying to make the world a better place!
Jason relaxing. We don’t paddle this boat much. Part of the reason is because the seats are not very comfortable. He is trying to find some relief.
JoJo was kind enough to grab my phone and get a shot of us.
I love the reflection of the under side of the bridge on the water.
If you’re curious where we went, here is a screen shot. The gray line going north to south is I-55 for reference.
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.
A selfie from the front. Somehow, Sonora managed to hide.
The river is still up a ton, blocking the road.
Guess this means people wading across the street?
This is a 2 story structure. I didn’t realize it till the waters receded and I saw the rest of the damage.
Since the flooding started, I’ve been wanting to paddle to Simpson Lake and see what it looked like!
Look, the roof of a picnic shelter.
Paddling under the picnic structure. Could have changed a light bulb in the middle without getting out of my canoe seat!
I just missed a perfect photo with the reflection of this tree on the calm water.
In case he forgets his name Bernie wrote it on the back on his PFD.
Looking straight down Marshal Road in Valley Park.
This sign is slightly ironic.
The aluminum battleship on top of my van. I wanted for help before getting it down!
So one day after my last outing on the flooded Meramec river (yesterday) and its risen several feet! I went out with Corvin to check it out. Parking was quite different as the parking lot I was in yesterday is under about 8 feet of water!
We were out about an hour, look at the water on the apartment complex sign, its still coming up!
I wanted to go canoeing and I needed a partner. I couldn’t think of anybody better to take with me that my lovely daughter, Sonora. When I asked her, she jumped up excitedly and was ready to go. I instructed her on the things I wanted her to wear and the spare clothes to bring along and went to changing myself.
We went out to the garage and packed our gear together into the van. Then she helped me load the boat on top of the van. The ride was fun all the way to the river. Once we got there, we efficiently unloaded the boat and set upon the water. We paddled upstream for about a mile, stopping along the shore when we had safe access to gather trash. At our highest point upstream, we stopped to pull 3 tires out of the river bank.
Sonora kept the boat on the shore while I stepped out to gather the tires. I sunk knee deep several times in the mud during the process. Ultimately the boat was a bit overloaded for our easy trip downriver back to the start.
Here we are at the finish with our prize. I rolled each tire to the top of the ramp and worked with the county parks police to get them picked up later and disposed of. It was a perfect evening with Sonora using our newest boat we won from a Stream Team raffle.
Here is me pushing the tires away from the river and up the ramp.
Most importantly, the boat earned a name on the way home. With it on top of the van, it continued to drop mud on the van. As it came on the windshield, I told Sonora it looked like her favorite Pokemon, Squirtle (cause it sounds gross). After she stopped laughing, we agreed on the name!
I promise, this is the last of my insanely frequent visits to the Meramec River in Valley Park. I took the kids earlier in the day to see it and I just wanted to paddle it myself. So I went out to the river with my kayak!
Looking into the golf course.
Paddling back in the football area.
An island of land near Greentree park where I normally start my trips from.
Yep, road is flooded. Good thing there were signs!