05-24-2015 (Searching for Mothballs)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Weather conditions:
High – 85
Low – 70

No, no – it can’t be 3:00. Remind me why I am getting up before the sun? Oh yeh – to paddle to Caruthersville, Missouri before the storms and maybe in time for church! OK – I know I will be glad later.

While I was still trying to adjust my eyes to the light of my headlamp, John started narrating the “hatching” of a dragonfly that was apparently happening in the sand under our rain fly. (See his attempt at a photo on Instagram.)

Oatmeal for breakfast and then tear down. We won’t be tearing down for a few days because we will be in Caruthersville until at least Tuesday to pick up our package at the post office. Yeh!

If you will recall, the teardown process used to take us about three hours. Today we were too efficient and were almost done at 4:10. Think about this, it is still dark at 4:10, not really a safe time to be on the river with the barges. (Yes, they run all night.) Sooooo, we rested until the sun started to light the sky. (I hope the next time John decides we need to get an early start, he remembers our efficiency and resists the urge to set the alarm for 3:00. I think someone should invent an alarm clock that can’t be set for anything before 5:00.)

Even with the brief rest, we were on the river by 6:10, ready to paddle approximately 11 miles. Yesterday we enjoyed fairly calm winds – not so today. The wind was a factor from the very first stroke of our paddles and gained intensity until we pulled our paddles out of the water. The waves weren’t as large as yesterday, but the waters were so turbulent on the curve before Caruthersville, as a result of barges, wind, eddies, and dikes. For several hours after we landed I still felt like I was being tossed by the waves.

We landed at our destination, in spite of the waves, at 8:10. Church maybe? Caruthersville has a welcoming riverfront, with a nice boat ramp and Reynolds Park located conveniently at the top of the hill.

We had received a contact, David and Anita Phelps, in Caruthersville from someone who knew someone who knew someone here. As soon as we were out of our boats, John sent a text to David wondering if perhaps we could go to church. He said he’d be here shortly.

In that “shortly” amount of time, several people stopped to ask us about our journey, some stopped to see if we needed anything. Butch and Karen gave us their phone number, just in case we need anything. While we were waiting on David, I took the opportunity to change into “church clothes”(my clean set I washed in the river the other day) at the nearby casino. (Is it wrong to change for church in a casino?)

When I returned, David and John were sitting on a bench waiting for me. After introductions we were on our way to church. We stopped to pick up David’s brother, Mike, and talked to a police officer – asking him if he could occasionally check on our boats in the park by the boat ramp. Then finally to church.

We arrived at the end of the last praise and worship song. I chuckled to myself as I looked at the words from the song “You Make Me Brave” on the screen…. “As your love in wave after wave, crashes over me, crashes over me.” … “You make me brave. You make me brave. You call me out beyond the shore into the waves.” How appropriate, considering the waves we had just come from. I have missed church! And what a wonderful and timely message – The Lord’s Prayer. Give us THIS day our DAILY bread. Not tomorrow’s but today’s. We are learning to lean on God for what we need today and not worry about what tomorrow may bring. As John says, “That takes the pressure off.”

After church, David and Anita took us to The Roundhouse (look for picture on Instagram) for lunch. The restaurant is just what the name implies – round!

After a delicious non-dehydrated lunch, David deposited us back at our boats. We set up our home for the next couple of days, filled up with water, and began charging our electronics using one of the hundreds of 110 outlets in the park. (David said there are so many because they have a cook off.)

Just then Steve “Thrash” Thrasher and his friend Martha pulled up in Steve’s truck. They said hello, warned us of the impending storms, and asked if we needed anything. Thrash said he has met and assisted previous river travelers and shared some of his past encounters with us. (More photos on Instagram @ separateboats)

John prepared for the storm by putting a tarp over the tent while I cooked dinner. (Yes we were hungry again! John even made a peanut butter wrap after we were done.)

As we were finishing dinner, we decided we should take David up on his offer to take us to Wal-Mart. He said he was on his way.

As we were putting everything away in preparation for David’s arrival, a young man walked up and handed me a Wal-Mart bag with meat, cheese, mustard, and bread they had just purchased for a picnic and were done eating. They were going to throw the leftovers away and decided to offer them to us first. Believe it or not – we were still hungry! We said, “Sure.”

We barely returned to our tent to finish putting things away when David arrived. On to Wal-Mart. I can’t remember the last time we were in Wal-Mart!

After our shopping excursion, we returned to the tent to prepare for the storm. We zipped up the tent as the first raindrops fell. Sound familiar? There are more storms on the way, but we are snug in our tent and enjoying a sandwich!.

What a day! And, yes, I am glad the alarm went off at 3:00. Tomorrow we are being picked up at 7:00 for a shower and laundry! We get to sleep in!

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. Check out our “Charity Page” – you can donate using the Pay Pal button. Thank you.


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