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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Did You See Me At Westport Landing

On the wide Missouri shore?
Did you hear the west wind calling

In the spring of forty-four?

That is how the song Oregon Trail starts. It was written and sung by C.W. McCall sometime in the seventies. You may be old enough to recognize his most famous work "Convoy". My truckin' brother-in-law bought the album for that song. I was surprised by and pleased to listen to the more lyrical songs on the album. Mostly because they were songs about places I knew and loved.

Back in the day I learned as much as I could about the Oregon trail and visited as many sites as I could talk my parents into visiting. Now I find myself living not too far from Westport Landing. That gives new meaning to the song for me. But that isn't why the lyrics are rolling around in my head.

They are there because of a few lines later on in the song...

If the sun don't shine and the river don't rise
We can make South Pass by the fourth of July
It is variations on the theme 'river don't rise', that are an endless background to my daily endeavors this summer. I am trying to organize the BEST. YEAR. EVER. for an annual river race. And the Missouri River is rising and rising and rising. The reasons are plenty and there is probably a fair share of blame to go around. But that doesn't matter much to me at the moment. I am just hoping and praying that the river will not only not rise but that it will drop to levels low enough for our participants to have a safe and happy paddle.

So as I go about my day, reading reports, calling vendors, comforting racers, I keep thinking... river don't rise and I am probably grateful that Mr McCall has provided a background serenade for my angst.

If you want to read the rest of the lyrics you can find them on sites such as this. The tune is probably out there as well, but you will have to google it yourself. I have a river to monitor.

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