Maybe I should start at the beginning... at 9 am we launched paddlers in canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards from 20 miles out and from 41 miles out. There were 97 boats registered. We send support boats with them. The image above was taken after one of the heart-stopping moments during the day. Shortly after launch I looked out at the river and saw this barge going up river toward our paddlers. I am in touch with the barge folks. They didn't have this one on the roster. Paddlers in small boats have to respect the barges. The barge cannot react. With the water as low as it is, there is less room for everyone to maneuver. Our wonderful radio communications crew got word out as quickly as possible to the support boats to warn the paddlers. Fortunately, there was only one close call and that was with a well trained crew who knew how to paddle through the wake.
The paddlers go through some amazing scenery, natural and man-made as well as some naturally altered man-made... those are full size trees on the bridge support. They are left from the extreme flooding of last summer.
Eventually they cross under the last bridge and are within sight of the park and sound of the music.
That is where there were helpers to get them on shore. Fans to cheer them on. The sweet sound of the airhorn signalling their finish and documenting their time.
Day two saw some of our intrepid adventurers off on another 24 mile stretch of the river.
As I collect more pictures and have more time to reflect, I will share some adventures at the Race for the Rivers.