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


  1. Hey guys, I think this is great what you are doing. My buddy, Cale Prokopf, sent me this link and I just read your blog over. Congratulations on this! My brother and I competed and completed the MR340 last year. Due to back surgery, I am sitting this year out, but we should make a triumphant return next year. If you guys have any questions about racing as a first timer, please don't hesitate to ask me. My email is Take care and have a great day!

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