St. Joseph, MO

“The heat is on, on the street. Inside your head, on every beat. And the beat’s so loud, deep inside. The pressure’s high, just to stay alive. ‘Cause the heat is on.”-Glenn Fry

People, it’s hot. To this point, the temps (not the rain and wind) have been ideal.  That has changed the past few days.

Sunday August 24th

My intention was to paddle 35 miles today.  I surged ahead 47. I wanted to stop around 4:00 but could not find a suitable camping spot.  It was sticky, it was hot, I was drinking boiling water, I desperately wanted to get a good camp night (i.e. stop way before sunset).  Ultimately, it worked out better than I could have imagined.

Today I spent much of the time “floating”, it was really hard to paddle given the heat.  I approached multiple boats asking for “anything cold”, fortunately my fellow boaters (with power) were more than accommodating. Is it bad that I go into full “mooch” mode?  During the trip I have had many encounters with boaters that are more than happy to offer up cold drinks, today is was almost necessary.

KC is well within my sights so I wanted to stop a little early and take it easy this evening.  At 4:00 I started to spy out possible camping spots, the river wasn’t willing to reciprocate.  The banks were steep and rocks are no place to tent.  I finally found an opening on river left (MO) just past the KS/NE border (which is on river right) where I saw a hammock and a chair.  I decided to pull in and check out the location and hopefully the owner would allow me to camp.  I pulled in, walked up the bank and this was clearly a good camping location…although there was a trash container full of cans, a camping pit, a makeshift  bar with sunset view.  I went ahead and walked up the road leading to the clearing to ask for permission to camp and a saw a truck driving down.

I met Michele and Danny Weber, who own and farm the land, and the were absolutely cool with me camping on their property.  Their son, Kelby (he and his uncle actually do the farming), and his buddy Levi came down to hang out. Levi insisted on going to town to get me something while I set up tent.  He came back with some beers and Diet Coke’s.  This is really getting embarrassing, I am exhausting ways to show my appreciation for all the good people I have been encountering.

Michele and Ben headed back home and Levi, Kelby and I hung out for a couple hours.  They are in their early 20’s and I honestly felt like I was 25 again.  It was like it was 1995 and I was hangin’ out with my buds.  We talked about farming, life in MO, the history of the Weber’s land, etc.  It is interesting when you get a little older and you meet younger individuals and listen to their life perspective, in this case we were like “brothers from another mother.”   I wish we could have spent more time together, perhaps sometime in the future.

This is probably the only downside to meeting all these great people.  The show must go on and your time with them is limited.  That was certainly the case this week.

After jamming out to some good rock, they left since A)they have to work early tomorrow morning and B)the pesky mosquitos came to play.  It was another hot night in the Lynch tent.

Indian Caves behind me

Indian Caves behind me

debis is heavy at times

debris is heavy at times

campsite view

campsite view

Levi and Kelby, rock on!!

Levi and Kelby, rock on!!

Monday August 25th

Levi stopped by in the morning with a breakfast burrito and headed off to work.  I gathered my belongings and prepared for launch.  As I was getting ready, the Weber family dog stopped by to play.  I tossed the stick around and said goodbye to the dog.  She didn’t want to leave.

I got in my canoe and started to depart and the dog hoped in the river and followed me.  This made me uncomfortable, I didn’t want to lead the dog down the current filled MO river so I kept paddling back to shore and hoped she would stay.  After 3 attempts I realized it was fruitless, I called Kelby and then Levi and he suggested to keep going, she will turn around.  I found out later this is exactly what happened.  Great dog.

It was another steamy day on the river, I paddled downstream of St. Joseph, MO and landed at the St. Joseph Boat Club.  I met the “comodore” Chris Parks and boat club member (since 72) Dick Lawson.  Chris was more than happy to let me camp at the club and yep, more food and drinks. It almost like there is a secret network of “river rats” who call ahead and try to up the ante for my arrival. Dick has an RV at the camp and he graciously volunteered to let me stay in his RV.  The AC was clutch.

Dick recently lost his wife of 48 years and Chris’ mom passed last year.  We all agreed to remember the good times, celebrate the individuals life.

At this point, I am at river mile 444 and need to get to 367 by Thursday, I will probably hang here today since we may get some storms and I have a nice sheltered environment for relaxation.

I avoided the local buffet today as well, this is good news.

Texas bound?

Texas bound?

too hot to paddle

too hot to paddle

St. Joseph

St. Joseph

Dick and Chris

Dick and Chris


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7 Responses to St. Joseph, MO

  1. Dana TeCulver says:

    What do I do when my love is away.
    (Does it worry you to be alone)
    How do I feel by the end of the day
    (Are you sad because you’re on your own)

    No I get by with a little help from my friends,
    I get high with a little help from my friends,
    Oh, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.

    Thought this one was very apropos. Have a happy Labor Day!

  2. Michael Callaway says:

    Just another 3 more weeks of this hot, when you get to Sept 15th the number of good days will be better than the number of bad. Until then, enjoy the heat

  3. andy swenson says:


    Got some buddies ready to give you a hand if you need it in KC. Just let me know.


  4. Christopher Reagh says:

    It is hot, no doubt, but as far as the summer around here, you could not have picked a better year. Keep paddling. I hope to see ya when you going up the Red

  5. Donald Zinter says:

    With St. Joe in your rear view mirror, and KC in the cross hairs you have your work cut out for you. Just dont leave the little woman stranded KC, that would not be a good thing to do.

  6. Rob Walker says:

    All kidding aside, the generosity of the American people during your truip has been really encouraging to me. Especially since you are a “yankee” (and a Patriots fan).

  7. Mike and Debi ONeal says:

    Keith, it was a great pleasure meeting you and sharing stories of life experiences. We wish you the very best in your travels. Enjoy your visit with your wife in KC. Then as you continue down the MO river, we hope you find more kind and generous river rats who have accommodated us in our travels down the MO river. There are more wonderful people to meet on your journey. Will be following your travels to Texas.

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