Tuesday, May 20, 2015
High – 73
Low – 52
Milestones of today. Finally made it to Cairo. We left the Ohio River. We are on the Mississippi River!!!!!!!!!!!!! We left Illinois. We are now in Missouri. What a big day!
Today began similarly to yesterday – alarm went off at 3:30. However, a glance at the radar and we knew we would finally make it to Cairo! Up and on the river by 6:00. We had following seas today, which pushed us, but they are difficult to paddle in.
As we were paddling, John entertained me with his one man rendition of Little Red Riding Hood. (with a British accent) I wish I had a tape recorder – it was priceless! A day in the life of John Abnet……
Shortly before we arrived in Cairo, we saw a pelican. That was a surprise. In addition, we also saw five eagles today. What a treat!
We arrived in Cairo, Illinois at 9:30. John went to the post office to pick up our three boxes. Christmas! He brought our goodies back to the boat. While he sought water, I unpacked our food items and packed my winter clothes in the food box to be sent home. Upon John’s return with water, he directed me to a city maintenance building to use the restroom and change from my farmer Jane wet suit into my lightweight Capri pant wet suit. Love them!
After changing into my capris, I returned to the boats. We held a conference deciding who would go back into town to purchase some items on our list. It was decided I would go to Dollar General to purchase a book (no charging required), coffee filters (for filtering rain water), and lighters (for lighting stove). I procured the items and returned to the boat. We finished packing all items to be sent home. Then John was off to mail the unneeded items. (26 pounds) Upon his return, he was carrying a brown paper sac and a styrofoam cup. He had two sandwiches and ice water! (He didn’t even say he had to use the restroom!) John ate half of his catfish sandwich, while I ate half of my pork barbecue sandwich. Then we switched. (The catfish was better.)
Then John took care of our last errand – disposing of our garbage.
With the garbage disposed, we were on our way to the Mississippi River. Entering the Mississippi wasn’t as dramatic as entering the Ohio from the Wabash. When we entered the Wabash, we got to a T-river and turned right. The Mississippi and Ohio just kind-of merge. It’s really hard to distinguish when you actually enter the Mississippi. However, the river does get a lot larger. We had intended to simply enter the big river on the LBD (left bank descending) and quickly find a place to camp for the night. Ahead of us, Island 1 loomed on the LBD and looked like a great place to stay. However, as we approached we encountered some crazy currents and even a drop in river elevation. Then we noticed a line of rocks protruding from the shore that completely blocked our access to the island, so we gave up on reaching the island and switched to the right side of the river to avoid getting pinned against them.
John later determined that the currents and rocks were dikes when he looked at his Mississippi map on his IPad. He will have the map available tomorrow so we will be able to avoid them.
After crossing the river twice, (Remember it is two miles in places.) we finally found a place to camp. It was worth the wait – a beautiful, sandy beach. Am I really in Missouri?
After setting up camp, eating lazy day lasagna, and chocolate pudding for dinner, talking with Kasie and Tiffany (our daughters), John checked the maps (specifically for dikes) for tomorrow. We are finally going to bed after a milestone day that began at 3:30 this morning.
Thanks for following our adventure. For photos and videos of the events mentioned in this daily journal, check us out on Instagram @ separateboats.
Also, please continue to pray for and support our charity, The Fortress. The fund-raising is not going well and they need your support. Thank you.