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Day: April 10, 2016

Thunder and Rain

I like to set up my shelter on well drained,  flat spots. Yesterday evening I was forced to compromise with just a slight slope. When the lightning begin flashing and the thunder begin blooming and I heard the rain hitting the tent I looked to make sure everything was underneath the fly. One side of the tent is about two thirds open and that was on the downhill side, what that meant is that I was partially sliding outside of the tent. I came up with a solution that worked pretty well: I took my firmly inflated sleeping pad and laid it on its side up against the tent pole, so that kept me in the tent. The ground was soft enough so I slept quite well the last couple of hours until morning. 

The weather was hard to dress for when I began walking, it was fairly warm but still trying to rain. When I put on my rain gear, with the warmth and the 100% percent humidity I was too warm and clammy, but I also didn’t want to get soaked, especially that early in the day. 

I took another look at the map and decided to skip my next resupply which was going to add maybe 2 miles. Much to my delight I ran across a totally unexpected gas station, a double-score as they also served hot food, so I had coffee, biscuits and gravy for breakfast. That was a big bonus. 

 Again today I walked through some fairly rundown areas and some real fancy areas. There was a reasonable amount of topography which actually is good for the legs I think.  

I saw what I think were the first gold finches and blue wing teal I’ve seen,  also some big frogs and a profusion of flowering trees. 


Red Bud Trees, I believe

Red Bud Trees, I believe

Looking ahead it looked like the end of the day would bring me near Excelsior Springs,  so I found a motel room. It’s great to get cleaned up again and do a little bit of laundry. Chinese-food room delivery was a treat as well. 


23rd June Satturday Some wind this morning from the N. W. we Set out at 7 oClock, and proceeded on to the head of a Island on the S. S. the wind blew hard and down the river which prevented the Pty moveing from this Island the whole day, Cap. Lewis had the arms examined &c. at the lower end of this Island I got out of the boat to walk on Shore, & expected the party on Shore would overtake me at the head of the Island, they did not & I proceeded on round a round and extensive bend in the river, I Killed a Deer & made a fire expecting the boat would Come up in the evening. the wind continueing to blow prevented their moveing, as the distance by land was too great for me to return by night I concluded to Camp, Peeled Some bark to lay on, and geathered wood to make fires to Keep off the musquitor & Knats. Heard the party on Shore fire, at Dark Drewyer came to me with the horses, one fat bear & a Deer, river fell 8 Inches last night

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

Good Dog, Bad Dog

The wind was largely absent today, a real treat. I followed gravel roads past rolling Missouri farm country. 

Something caught my eye and I looked down to see a little black dog trotting down the road with me, friendly and confident. I petted him but them told him he had to go home. He was fine with that. I looked back to see him romping in his yard. 

I walked across the Missouri River on a very long bridge. The gravel road I’d meant to take on the other side was 50 feet below me, with the bridge continuing across the flood plain. When I found a way down a canal blocked my route, but finally I got back on track. 

I ran across two closed segments of road today, but both were negotiable on foot. 

I was passing an old farm house. Three big dogs ran out acting aggressively. The owner came out. He tried to call the dogs off with little luck. I took off my pack and faced them. 

The old farmer asked me to come in and sit down. He shared his dinner with me while he told me the sad story of his life, which he assured me repeatedly he had ruined, taking a good farm and drinking it away. At one point he had been a well known classical musician as well “playing everywhere but Carnegie Hall.”

I was happy to be leaving, keeping an eye on his dogs. I felt a chomp on my right calf. His St Bernard had bit me. It drew blood, but didn’t seem too bad. I walked away as the farmer shouted his apologies.  Had it not been for the assurances of the farmer, I wouldn’t have gotten bit. 


Dog Bite

Dog Bite

It doesn’t seem bad at all. It’s the next morning and if I didn’t look at it I wouldn’t know I’d gotten bit. The dog’s name? Duke.  
I walked until about 6 before finding a place to camp. I think I did about 23 miles. 


21st June Thursday 1804 river raised 3 Inches last night after our bow man Peter Crousat a half Mahar Indian examined round this Small Isd. for the best water, we Set out determined to assd. on the North Side, and Sometimes rowing Poleing & Drawing up with a Strong Rope we assended without wheeling or receving any damige more than breakeing one of my S. Windows, and looseing Some oars which were Swong under the windows Two men Sent out to hunt this afternoon Came in with a Deer, at Sun Set The ellement had every appearance of wind, The hunters inform me that the high Countrey on the S. S. is of a good quallity, and well timbd. The High lands on the L. Side is equally good The bottom land on this river is alike, 1st low and covd. with Cotton wood & willows Subject to over flow the 2nd is higher groth Cotton Walnut ash Mulberry Linn & Sycomore

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

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