I saw Red in KC

“So, what does your wife think of this journey?”-Everyone I meet.

Hello Good People,

Yes, I have emerged from the wonderful weekend spent with my spouse, Vicki,in KC.

Tuesday August 26th

I decided to take today off and stay at the friendly confines of the St. Joseph Boat Club. My focus is arriving in KC on Thursday, approximately 75 miles down river, which should be easily attainable. I spent the day relaxing (and updating my site). I actually gave back today and bought a guy a soda…it felt good. 

As dusk set in, members and neighbors of the boat club, Mike & Debi Neal offered a spare bedroom for me to stay in. If not for my wife’s arrival I may have just stayed with the Neal’s. Thank you again St. Joseph Boat Club, they are definetly paddler (and Keith) friendly.  My intention is to paddle to Leavenworth Kansas tomorrow leaving me with a short paddle to KC on Thursday.  This air conditioning is way underrated. 

chillin at the club

chillin at the club

reverse angle

reverse angle

this says it all

this says it all


Wednesday August 27th

I did land in Leavenworth but not without challenges, including getting hit in the face by a flying Asian Carp, a 4+ hour rain delay, knee aches, and I really had to push to get there by dusk.

I awoke this morning in the comfy confines of the Neal residence. Mike and I enjoyed a cup of coffee and then he sadly had to depart for work. I enjoyed rapping with him, despite his affinity towards the Chiefs.  A weather system was forthcoming so I had to wait it out. I was a bit antsy given the fact I really need to get to KC on Thursday and, after almost 2 days here, I am ready to move on. The slow moving system finally started to dissipate around 11:30 so I headed off.  

As a result of the weather. I had to push to make Leaveneorth. I had planned to stop in Atchinson, Kansas for lunch but that was out of the question because of the rain delay. I finally arrived at my destination (park in Levenworth) just about dusk, I landed my boat at the ramp, walked up the ramp, observed some sketchy activities in the park and promptly returned to my boat…back to desperate dusk campsite hunting. 

I located an eddy across the river and decided to say there. As I made my way across the river an Asian carp flew out of the water and hit me in my face. I embarrassingly yelled out like a school boy, it landed in the boat so I flipped it back into the water with my paddle.

The campsite was less than ideal, in fact it was a mud pit and the mosquitos were out to play. I ate in my tent and called it a night…hopefully water levels don’t rise too much this evening, otherwise my site could be washed out.  The things you worry about on “The River.”

Time to depart...on my way Red!!

Time to depart…on my way Red!!

Why no arch on the MO side? Cmon Show Me state, show some love for the Amelia Earhart Bridge

Why no arch on the MO side? C’mon Show Me state, show some love for the Amelia Earhart Bridge

That way to the train

That way to the train

 

Thursday August 28th

I awoke to the threatning skies…but water levels didn’t wash out my campsite so it appears all my worldly possessions are in tack.  I quickly packed everything and headed to KC about 25 miles down river.  The rain held off and I arrived at my destination (Kaw Point)by noon. I had the good fortune of making plans to have Healty Rivers Partnersip store my boat until Tuesday while I have a “normal” weekend with Vicki.  HRP is dedicated to connecting people to their rivers and connecting rivers to their communities. They have a classic building in downtown KC-think Deep Ellum.  Vicki from HRP (different but still great Vicki) arranged for the pickup and they dropped me off at my hotel.  

The prospect of reuniting with Vicki is quite exciting, I have not seen her since June 3rd.  Her flight was delayed, but it was rewarding to finally reunite…and, yes, it felt so good. 

getting closer to KC!!

getting closer to KC!!

KAN.SAS.CITY

KAN.SAS.CITY

KAN.SAS.CITY

KAN.SAS.CITY

prep work for storage..some stuff goes to hotel for cleansing

prep work for storage..some stuff goes to hotel for cleansing

home for a few days..thank you Vicki and HRP

home for a few days..thank you Vicki and HRP


Friday August 29th-Monday September 1st

This trip has been interesting on many levels. Almost invariably, when I meet someone they observe my wedding band and inquire about my wife. Most are surprised that I am able to pull something like this off while being married, quite frankly, I am as well.  Most will ask “What did your wife say about this?” My (now canned) response is “every married woman in America wants their husband to come home and proclaim they are prepared to resign employment to circumnavigate America by canoe.”

To understand this journey, you have to understand Vicki. She is really special, very independent, tough, strong willed, and much more intelligent than me.  Of course that isn’t really saying much…I mean there is no way she would land a canoe under a bilge pump!!  

I am not sure Vicki was thrilled with the idea of me leaving for 5-6 months and resigning from a great job…but she also understood that this was important to me and was wiling to make the sacrifices to allow me to try and pull this off. I am eternally grateful.  

It hasn’t always been easy, Vicki had a medical situation recently (she is fine), I was unable to be there for her (although I paddled like hell that day), we’ve had necessary home repairs that she has had to work out. We aren’t complaining, I am simply trying to provide insight into what it is like. I think next year I’ll only canoe 2000 miles rather than the 4000 miles. Marriage is about compromise after all, right? Oh, and she loves the beard.

We had a great weekend in KC. We ate BBQ, more BBQ, went to a Royals game, drove back to Atchinson Kansas to visit Amelia Earharts childhood home, went to a festival and had an overall good time. It was difficult to say goodbye on Monday night.  Hopefully we can rendezvous somewhere down the river.

She departed Monday night, it was difficult to say goodbye.  Fortunately, another river angel, Mike Mollohan, offered up his house Monday night.  I enjoyed the evening with Mike, we discussed my adventures, he was interested in my lake experiences. I basically fibbed and told him, for me, it was a piece of cake.

I also learned that Norm and Kris found my electronics bag!!! Yes, I will dedicate an entry to this good news…stay tuned.

 

reuinted...

reunited…

..and it feels so good

..and it feels so good

I see you Amelia!!

I see you Amelia!!

I see you Amelia!!

I see you Amelia!!

I see you Red!!

I see you Red!!

Lewis, Lynch and Clark

Lewis, Lynch and Clark

I told you so

I told you so, Vicki loves the beard

can you still read?

can you still read?

"I hope you keep the beard Keith!!"

“I hope you keep the beard Keith!!”

fountain of youth?

fountain of youth?

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8 Responses to I saw Red in KC

  1. Wajid says:

    Keith you are very lucky to have a spouse like Vicki to support you during this adventure. Vicki you win the wife of the century award for letting Keith do this!!!

  2. Elizabeth Bienkiewicz says:

    It’s all about love….and Vicki and Keith are truly in love.

  3. Norm says:

    Glad you got to hang out with your wife!! She must be an awesome gal to put up with your 80’s rock band quotes!!!!!! Press on brother!!!

  4. Will Garvin says:

    It’s 5SEP and you are nearing Glasgow. You must must must share some table time with Gary and the rest of those true Americans (I love em all) … the table is easy to find.

  5. Donald Zinter says:

    I’m goin’ to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come
    They got a crazy way of lovin’ there, and I’m gonna get me some
    I’m gonna be standing on the corner, of Twelfth Street and Vine
    With my Kansas City baby, and a bottle of Kansas City wine…
    written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in 1952, and reenacted by Keith and Vicki Labor Day weekend 2014.

  6. Michael Callaway says:

    Well for those who care, Red’s fantasy football team is starting out much stronger than Keith’s. She is looking to be the first person in the history of our league to win back to back titles. She will finish Week 1 with a commanding performance of 120 points, unless Ryan Mattews has a Super Man type of game Keith will finish with a mere 98. Of course, that is much better than yours truly will end up with. I am projected to have poultry 75 points and lose to a slightly less sad Kevin Lynch team with 78 points.

  7. Joel & Paula says:

    Glad to see you had an enjoyable weekend with Red. We are checking your progress and reading your updates with great interest, wishing you a safe and happy voyage in the days to come. Maybe you should invest in carp repellent, to go with your bug repellent! Would have liked to hear that juvenile shriek!

  8. Tiffany Hartmann says:

    There is so much love here! (But not for the beard, sorry Keith!) One of the aspects I really enjoy about your blog pictures is the pointing. Point away, Commander!

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