The second Thursday of the month, you’re going to find me on a river paddling. Generally the Meramec river. Tonight was no exception and I was bring a new paddler with me. I met Tonya at a doctor’s appointment. She was working and I struck up a conversation with her. Somehow, it came to paddling. It sounded like she had not had the opportunity to go in a long time and I invited her for the July sunset race. I think she gave up on me, because she was quite surprised when I called her about a week before to make sure she was still coming.
It took some serious encouragement, but I got her to come out to the river. She ended up bring her son (I think his name is Sam). The three of us piled in the canoe and took off for an adventure!
Melissa paddling away.
Melissa and Jojo paddling kayaks.
Sam and Tonya. Look closely and you can see the deer on the bank we’re pointed at.
Always making faces at Melissa.
Which is why she returned the favor!
There are the three of us enjoying a perfect evening together.
Tonya didn’t bring any shoes that could get wet. We were helping her stay dry as she got in the boat.
It brings me joy to spread my paddling opportunity with others!
If you’re reading this and you want to go out paddling, drop me a comment and we’ll see about working something out!
Our normal monthly paddle on the Meramec river. Some photos of our fun.
Andy playing Humpty Dumpty. This time he didn’t fall or break, but he also didn’t have time to paddle. Still awesome that he came out to see us!
Bernie Arnold brought me a boat to borrow. We paddled for a bit, but he didn’t have time for the official Sunset Race.
Jo Jo in her race boat with Jason behind her. Can’t remember the orange dude, but very cool guy.
I’m in the foreground with Mark in the boat and my wife Danelle getting ready to join us. A real treat for all of us!
Jay Doty in a skin on frame his son made. That boat is fast and lightweight!
Its Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t stop the Sunset Race. I’ve been married long enough that it isn’t a highly encouraged [or else] type of holiday. Actually, we both agree its a made up holiday, but that is another topic.
I started off the Sunset Race with a unicycle ride. Even after all these times of the Sunset race, I still get excited every month. So getting in a ride before the paddle is a good way to help calm myself down. I even turned a few segments of my ride into a video if you’re curious.
This is what my two of my favorite hobbies look like together!
We had a great race err paddle. We didn’t go all the way to 141, but we still had fun. One dark photo at the Simpson Lake damn.
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!
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!