Shreveport

“Take your time…don’t live too fast.  Troubles will come and they will pass.”-Lynyrd Skynyrd

Saturday, October 18th

As has been customary during the voyage, I shook off the “missing friend” blues and paddled on. My focus was to canoe 25 miles and camp at Couchetta, LA. Mission accomplished.  I paddled thru another lock and dam and I now only have one more to go.  Today was another warm day, it’s hard to belive the weather has been so warm and sunny. No rain in the upcoming forcast which is a good thing.

I arrived at the Couchetta ramp around 5:00 and setup camp.  I was talking to Vicki when I noticed a group of youngsters taking photos by the river, Vicki guessed it was Homecoming photos.  I approached the group and indeed they were taking Homecoming pictures with the Red as a backdrop.  Good idea.

I met Rob and Dap (Daps’s daughter was going to Homecoming) and shared my story with them.  They seemed interested in my journey.  We said our goodbyes and I was preparing to call it a night when they returned…with food.  This was another touching moment, similar to the one in Lexington, MO when a nice lady brought me a goodies package.  Rob called his buddy Wayne and his girlfriend Dee and we all sat at the picnic table rapping about my trip.  I am always interested in people’s stories as well, they discussed their current job and Rob’s time in a rock band.  They toured with Fuel at one point, now that is groovy.

It looks like I should be in Shreveport on Monday.

morning time

morning time

no idea what I'm pointing at

no idea what I’m pointing at

approaching lock and dam

approaching lock and dam

in lock and dam

in lock and dam

leaving lock and dam

leaving lock and dam

campsite

campsite

Rob, Dap,Dee,Wayne and son

Rob, Dap,Dee,Wayne and son

Sunday, October 19th

Somewhat of a tough day.  It was hot, too hot for my taste.  I was wishing for cloud cover and cooler temps.  It almost seems, at times, there is no perfect weather.  It’s too hot, it’s too cold, clouds are threatening, it’s raining.  Also, in the back of my mind I know it will get colder soon.  Cold won’t be too much of a hinderance while paddling..it’s the waking up in the morning in my tent and trying to warm up that will be difficult.

I did pass thru the last lock and dam and headed to another Red River Corps campground.  I must give a thumbs up to these facilities, they all have been nice (Red Bayou was my favorite).  I wasn’t feeling so great at the conclusion of the evening.  I almost feel a cold coming on, I think my body is getting run down.  I need to do a better job of eating more, I have been pretty much paddling all day without time out of the boat.  The days are getting shorter so I am attempting to maximize my paddling time.  I sure hope I’m not coming down with something as I can ill afford to get sick (pun intended).  I setup camp and was alone at the campground.  When I arrived someone was there training his dog how to fetch birds, he was firing objects in the river and the dog (a black lab I think) would go after it..kinda reminded of the dog that was chasing me back in NW Missouri.  I approched the gentleman and clearly he wasn’t interested in small talk.  I wished him a successful hunting season.  I think the pink canoe and beard combo scared him away.

Shrevport tomorrow if all goes according to plan.

I generally hug the shore while canoeing upstream

I generally hug the shore while canoeing upstream

The beard goes after I get home says the little lady

The beard goes after I get home says the little lady

Bird in flight

Bird in flight

Golden Gate Gas Line

Golden Gate Gas Line

sunset

sunset

Monday, October 20th

Yep.  I’m not on my A game.  I was grumpy paddling today and it was really tough to make Shreveport (Bossier City technically).  I have the sniffles, I’m hot, I’m cold. I think I may be sick.  My objective was to get to Shreveport/Bossier to get a hamburger and  cold medicine.  I settled for an MRE and media attention…until old friend John G hooked me up with some cold medicine all the way from Colorado (more on that later).

I saw a deceased alligator in the river today, I thought for a fleeting moment that I should throw it in the canoe and take a photo but thought better of it.  I really haven’t seen many alligators since passing the first lock and dam and I haven’t seen hardly any dead fish or wildlife in the river.  I thought I might.

As I approached Bossier the media contacted me to do an interview.  I wasn’t even on my B game but agreed to meet with them.  I met Patrick Dennis and he interviewed me for his outdoor show and for the local NBC affiliate.  He was a really cool guy, another class of 89 product. Wow, 89..so long ago…but I digress.  The interview and the length of time to paddle to Bossier combined with not wanting to leave my boat prevented me from getting a hamburger or securing medicine.  I enjoyed an MRE (thank you Howard) and was about to call it a night when it hit me…John G (remember him?) lives in CO but his in-laws live in Shreveport.  I asked John if he could call his in-laws and have them deliver medicine.  Voila, Faye and Roland J. arrived in about 30 minutes with cold medicine.  They were incredibly generous and wouldn’t take a penny. They really wanted to make sure I had everything I needed for the next leg of the trip. I can’t say how awesome this was…again, amazing how cool people have been during the trip.

Finally, as I was almost in a cold medicine induced comma, the local police showed up.  I had called the police to inform them that I would be statying at the campground (Bossier is a busy city) and would be leaving in the morning.  Officer Kerry arrived to check out my story, he heard “some guy canoeing from Montana is staying at the public park.”  He was skeptical and asked me a few questions, he eventually reached the conclusion that I was M.C. Hammer-to legit to quit. He was curious about my adventures and we enjoyed a nice chat. He wished me well and suggested there is no better ground to sleep on then Bossier City.

on my way to Shreveport/Bossier

on my way to Shreveport/Bossier

The Red River

The Red River

approaching bridge

approaching bridge

closer, breakfast joint on river right

closer, breakfast joint on river right

Faye & Roland

Faye & Roland

Faye and I

Faye and I

Tuesday, October 21st

The cold medicine helped. Tremendously.  I felt much better this morning.  I decided to canoe back downstream and ditch my boat close to Mickey D’s.  I stashed The Helinda, walked up the banks and into a glorious breakfast.  I was recharging my electronics when Fox 33 called and wanted to do an interview.  I explained I was at McDonalds and my boat was stashed on the river bank, they offered to come pick me up and drop me off close to my boat.  This was clearly a win win situation.  They arrived and dropped me off and I paddled back to the campground where I stayed last night.

They interviewed me and took video of me in the canoe.  I am getting a bigger ego now, almost at Canoe Star level.  I packed up and prepared to launch when the Shreveport-Times called and wanted to do an interview.  I waited by the boat ramp and they sent a reporter down for a nice chat.  After the interview, I realized that I needed more water so I went to the police sub-station which is on the campground (although it closes at 4:30 so no one was there last night) and asked to fill my gallon jugs.  I spoke with officer Fazzio who was knowledgable about the Red and was also aware I “stashed” my boat this morning.  He was out on the police boat and went to make sure there was no bodies inside it while I was eating.  He found out about my trip after checking on it.  Anyway, officer Fazzio said the six words no upstream paddler wants to hear…the.river.gets.swifter.above.Shreveport.

I launched after getting my water and passed through the heart of Shreveport. A great experience.  For those of us that have been to the buffet mecca, it seems spread out.  As I paddled upstream, everything is so close..by car you have to go over multiple bridges to get to the buffets which makes it seem (at least to me) like the buffets are far apart.  I did notice the current strengthen as I headed above Shreveport.  I landed just above the 220 bridge and called it an evening.

500 miles to Lake Texoma.  Let’s canoe.

approaching Shreveport

approaching Shreveport

The Buffet Mecca

The Buffet Mecca

It's That Way

It’s That Way

best cream puffs in town

best cream puffs in town

now in the rearview

now in the rearview

The "new" Red River

The “new” Red River

River Right

River Right

campsite

campsite

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4 Responses to Shreveport

  1. Christopher Reagh says:

    Getting close to my neck of the woods now…..

  2. Michael Callaway says:

    I am sure that those hours of dealing with restatement, messed up contribution files and general plan sponsor/advisor ignorance have prepared you well for dealing with the mental grind of going against the current.

  3. Aaron Klijn says:

    I hope you enjoyed my home town and felt welcome! I am amazed that you are doing this.

  4. rob says:

    we had a blast man we found a true friend in the end an we cant waite to meet up again an have another fun time rock on with your trip bro

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