Monday, June 21, 2010

First Paddle at Night

Always trying to increase our skill level, we decided that we needed a night paddle on our local stream to help us get accustomed to traveling quickly during the adversity of continued darkness. We choose to put in on the Meramec River at Pacific Palisades and take out at the HWY 30 bridge in Fenton, a distance of 32 miles. By 10:38 pm we pushed away from shore and waved good-bye to our gracious shuttle driver Matt Wagener. The swift current took us down and away quickly from the inviting bonfire party. We lit the headlamps to spot the many trees that were in the channel, but as our eyes settled we began to use our freshly created instinct. 13 miles in we slipped under the HWY 44 bridge at Route 66 State Park and the water slowed tremendously. What once was a quick pace slowed as we paddled through the stagnant concrete-like Meramec. As we rounded the bend of the Cresent Valley, the lightning storm that had been in the distance was on us. The wind began to pick up as we moved to the side of the channel gaining a block from the increasing storm. The lighting stayed in the clouds and we didn't feel that there was much danger so we pressed on. Approaching Castlewood State Park, the wind died, but the rain started. Only 3 bridges and 8.5 miles to go. We cruised past 141 and then on to the second HWY 44 bridge. The lights of the HWY 30 bridge seems to have the same pace we did but we eventually hit dry 4:30 am. Even though we misjudged the time it would take us to complete this paddle, the amount of experience we gained was invaluable. jm

80 Mile Results

On June 6th, the 3 Dudes mounted our steed in Washington, Missouri and headed west bound on the Missouri River. Our ultimate goal was to be at the Riverfront within 10 hours, giving us an average speed of 8 miles per hour over the 80 mile distance. The morning went well, covering the 38 mile distance to St. Charles in 4:16. Every hour we took a 5 minute break to discuss things about our training and to eat food. Food choices consisted of bananas, trail mix, cliff bars and water. As we rounded the bend at the Missouri & Mississippi confluence we began to really feel the heat of the day. We traveled out to the main channel and headed for the Arch. Upon nearing the riverfront we were confronted with multiple obstacles; there was a large tow boat on our right and a tow boat pushing barges on our left, both motoring upstream. We went to the middle to avoid direct contact and got to ride some huge waves, taking on some water in the process. We landed at the riverfront in 9 hours 32 minutes. It ended up being a great run that produced results we were happy with. We still need to get the hydration system completed and get the new foot rest installed for the center position. Check the short video. jm

Saturday, June 5, 2010

80 Miler

Tomorrow morning the 3 Dudes will be setting off on our second major training run on the Missouri. We're going after the 80 miles between Washington, MO to the confluence of the MO and the Mississippi, then continuing down to the riverfront of St. Louis. I should already be asleep but I'm preparing food and getting my new PFD (thanks Grant and MYles at the Alpine Shop!!) ready for the adventure.

Also, if you haven't noticed, our live tracking widget is live and broadcasting. It will be updating our position every 5 minutes so be sure to refresh your screen if you feel like tracking us. I'll be working on an auto-refresh do-dad to prevent that in the future. Until then, wish us luck!