Cooper’s Landing

“If you’re going to San Francisco, your gonna meet some gentle people there.”-Scott Mckenzie

Cooper’s Landing. Wow.

Tuesday September 2nd

I awoke from a quality night’s sleep indoors (particularly since it rained last night) and Mike cooked a nice breakfast.  He then drove me back to Healthy River Partners to pick up The Helinda to resume the journey. Vicki Richmond of HRP gave us a tour of their facility and spent time with us discussing current (and past) Missouri River initiatives in KC.

After a long break I found it difficult to get into a rhythm today.  I decided to call it a day after about 30 miles down river from KC.  I felt safe at my destination although multiple cars arrived throughout the early evening to observe the Missouri’s water level. One gentleman shot frogs with his BB Gun for fishing bait.

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, I hope to make about 50 miles to meet more river angels, Robin & Connie, in Waverly Missouri. They hinted at a home cooked meal. Now that’s motivation.

Thank you Mike!!

Thank you Mike!!

view from Healthy River Partners

view from Healthy River Partners

Vicki and I, getting ready to head out

Vicki and I, getting ready to head out

cya kc

cya kc

 

Landing spot

Landing spot

Wednesday September 3rd

It rained this morning. Hard.  I knew a system was going to blow in once I awoke and checked radar on my phone(yes I have a cell).  I quickly packed everything and put it in the canoe and waited it out.  My campsite did not have covered tables, only a vault toilet.  Yes, I took shelter at the entrance to the vault, the alternative was to get drenched, neither are ideal scenarios…..

I continued to observe radar and decided to launch around 10:45, I knew it would be tight to arrive in Waverly to meet Robin and Connie. It never happened.  Of course, about 5 minutes after I departed another storm cell popped up and I found myself in the middle of a lightning storm. Not good.  Shore options were terrible, I eventually landed on the bank and sat in a relatively steep muddy bank.  After 20 minutes I was off again, not really the best way to start the day off.   With days getting shorter I knew I probably wouldn’t make it to Waverly so I opted to call it a day’s paddle at the Lexington MO campground. I called Robin and he indicated the meal could wait until tomorrow and we could meet in Miami (further downriver) tomorrow.

Lexington also has quite a few Looky Lou’s who observe water levels.  A mother and son came down and we spoke for about 10 minutes.  They were interested in my trip-what I ate, how I resupplied, etc.  An hour after we spoke they showed up again with a care package, including hot beef stew soup. It was truly one of the most touching moments of the trip.  I was so humbled I forgot to ask their names….thank you so much if you are out there reading!!! The stew was spot on.

view from the vault, hey beats getting wet right?

view from the vault, hey beats getting wet right?

should have waited...it was muddy on the river they call the big muddy

should have waited…it was muddy on the river they call the big muddy

skies are clearing Fonzi

skies are clearing Fonzi

The Battle of Lexington was fought here.  The north eventually prevailed in the war.

The Battle of Lexington was fought here. The north eventually prevailed in the war.

Thursday Sept 4th

Glorious day.  I had a SE wind today and as luck would have it I was primarily heading north.  I was able to make it to Miami (50+ miles) with relative ease.  The delay in meeting Robin and Connie worked out well since Norm mailed the “magic” bag to Robin.

Robin and Connie arrived about 6:00 and they brought homemade chicken and sweet corn…and the bag.  We sat around, had a few cocktails, and discussed the river.  It is amazing how passionate so many people are about the river.  Robin has been canoeing the river for 30+ years, he talked about the times he would race barges to ramps, how the feel of the river has changed, and barge traffic. Like so many other times, our time was way too limited. I begged them not to go home to no avail. They invited me and Vicki to move in with them after the trip is complete…we may just take them up on the offer.

leaving Lexington

leaving Lexington

The Missouri River

The Missouri River

Christmas in Miami...thank you Norm and Kris!!

Christmas in Miami…thank you Norm and Kris!!

Miami Crib

Miami Crib

Connie and Robin, they love this photo

Connie and Robin, they love this photo

Friday Sept 5th

Glascow bound today.  All afternoon I was watching the skies (no cell reception) as dark clouds built.  I “only” had to go 35 miles to make it to Glascow. I wasn’t sure I would make it.  I did.  One of the challenges of this section of the Missouri River is that there are very few places to camp other than at the ramp campsites.  You pretty much have to make it to one of these locations otherwise it could be a really tough camping situation.  This weighed heavily on my mind as the skies looked ready to open up.

I finally made it to the muddy Glascow boat ramp as the skies opened up.  It poured for about an hour…and just when you think you’ve seen it all on the river, something out of the blue happens.  As I was preparing my campsite, I saw a paddle boat preparing for launch.  I curiously went over to talk to the paddler since it was almost dusk and the rain was not suppose to let up.  I discovered that he was going to paddle to Louisiana on a 6×6 paddleboat.  I also found it interesting that his wife (or girlfriend) told him to hurry up because she had to get to work.  Furthermore, I became concerned when all his goods were in Wal-Mart plastic bags.  I am not sure he was the most prepared individual for a long distance journey.  Oh, and his boat didn’t really appear to be seaworthy.

I watched him launch and he essentially had no control of his vessel, the wind blew him right into the bank.  He eventually straightened out his craft although I have my doubts about him getting to Louisiana.  Who really knows?

 

Barge

Barge

Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go?

Can I beat the weather?

Can I beat the weather?

My new hero

My new hero

Louisiana bound. Hopefully.

Louisiana bound. Hopefully.

Saturday September 6th

Today was one of the more memorable days of the trip-the weather was perfect, the scenery was beautiful and Cooper’s didn’t disappoint. Over the past few weeks I have been dealing with warm conditions and or rain seemingly every day.  I left in early morning to misty, cloudy, cool conditions. The morning wore on and the clouds wore off leaving behind a spectacular afternoon.  The sky was fall blue…the type of sky where it almost appears polarized.  Quite often when I am paddling I am focused on miles or time, I try not to find myself in this mode although it is difficult not too.  I found myself appreciating the paddle today more than I typically would, this afternoon would be the poster child for why one needs to get out and canoe.

This section of the river is quite forested with beautiful bluffs.  I almost thought I was back in New England during stretches today.  I passed under the  I-70 bridge where there are handsome homes on top of the bluffs. After passing through I-70 it was a short distance to Cooper’s Landing.

Cooper’s Landing is quite the interesting place, it started off as Michael Cooper’s land where he would host gatherings for family and friends. It has evolved into Columbia’s most unique music venue.  No bands are allowed to play covers and almost all the artists are unsigned and talented.  It was a slight shock to my senses to have such a serene afternoon paddling and then arrive at Cooper’s which was in the midst of an arts festival/concert/big party.  It did take time to adjust but I handled the transition smoothly.

It was nice to take in local music and interact with locals.  A great all around evening.

clouds are a clearing

clouds are a clearing

yep, it's a fall blue sky

yep, it’s a fall blue sky

fold or bluff? Have I used that already?

fold or bluff? Have I used that already?

Cooper's by day (the next morning actually)

Cooper’s by day (the next morning actually)

and by night

and by night

note canoe docked on boat

note canoe docked on boat

 

 

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2 Responses to Cooper’s Landing

  1. Michael Callaway says:

    Glad to see you doing so well, I look forward to your posts, it make my day. Olivia feels like we need to reach out to media here in Dallas to tell your tale.

  2. Donald Zinter says:

    Quite an adventure you are having, thank goodness there are so many canoe friendly people to adopt you for a day or two along the way. When are you going to up-date your journal? I know by now you are on the mighty Mississippi, from checking your where am I and noticing the immediate increase in river traffic (3 tug boats pushing 5 barges each), you sure did not see that on the Missouri.

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