Upper Missouri NWSR Canoe Trip 2009


Day Four

This morning it was time for some serious culinary redemption and I cooked up a big breakfast of thick cut peppered bacon, scrambled egg, and Gouda sandwiches on English muffins. I endeavored to be more careful cooking, and there were no accidents this time. Dad had brought the Gouda from Holland and it was delicious.
We tested our water filter, made some bottles of vodka / Crystal Light / river water cocktail, got the dishes washed, and resisted breaking camp for a while and played around with the pellet gun instead. It turned out to be deadly accurate, and powerful enough to shoot through all four layers of the base of a beer can.
Finally we roused ourselves and broke camp for the first time, loaded up the canoe, and headed downriver again around 12:30. Shortly we stopped for a break and a smoke, as well as some chopping and sawing. A nice lady came up and introduced herself. She and her family were also doing the full 149 miles, and we would run into them again numerous times. The little UST chain saw performed admirably, and I finally remembered how to properly use an ax. Deadfall was everywhere, obviously firewood was not going to be an issue this trip, although the wood was so bone dry that it was hard to chop.
We stopped again around lunch time and found a nice tree trunk on a little bluff overlooking the river, had a lunch of PB&J, cheese, and beer, and I got in the river for the first time for a little float. Refreshing! We saw more ranch land as we paddled down after lunch, mooed at a lot of cows, saw a huge beaver swimming upstream, and safely passed by the Virgelle Ferry which, we had been told, could easily suck us underwater if approached from upstream.
Late that afternoon we arrived at Coal Banks Landing after paddling against a stiff headwind for the last hour and were exhausted again! When we arrived we discovered that we had to lug our gear up a steep and muddy path to get to our campsite. We set up between the older guys with the ice and the friendly lady and her family. Once of the two guys walked over and gave us cans of Diet Coke and big lumps of ice (our ice was by now just cold water), for which we were very grateful. The Coke and ice were duly mixed with some Jack and we sat down and relaxed for a little while.
After that we helped each other set up our tents in a very stiff wind, and enjoyed watching our neighbor do the same; the nice lady's family included a cute readheaded daughter who performed some remarkable acrobatics for us while setting up her tent.
That night we had a fantastic dinner of spicy rubbed and Parmesan crusted New York strips, with sauteed peppers, zucchini, onions, and Crimini mushrooms . The last of our "real" dinners! We went to bed satisfied and reasonably inebriated, but I woke to the sound of rain an hour or two later and got up to secure all the gear left outside. After that, a good sleep until at about five AM we were awakened by the family with the redhead breaking camp in the rain. We decided (independently but simultaneously) that hiding in our tents until the rain stopped was more our speed, and we both went back to sleep for a while.

Jacob Saunders | Create Your Badge
Jacob Saunders