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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Bohemiannie! asked me to tell more about the Race for the Rivers.  For the first time, I didn't even manage to take my camera.  I personally have no pictures other than a few I took on my phone.   I'll start by sharing a few that have been sent to me.  These were taken by M Garvey.  They are very low resolution but they will give you an impression of the day on the river.  He was on one of the support boats that went along with the paddlers. 

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.   

We track the paddlers all along the route.  We get reports of their progress.  They faced a stiff wind for much of the day.  We had it in the park.  It was problematic for the tents, but made the 90+ degree day tolerable. 

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.  

  The crew on one of the support boats along with the radio operator.  All smiles as they keep track of our paddlers.  What a great way to spend a morning!

Still smiling.

 These six guys in five boats completed 65 miles on the Big Muddy.  Awesome paddlers.  Awesome guys.  And a great day. 

As I collect more pictures and have more time to reflect, I will share some adventures at the Race for the Rivers.

1 comment:

  1. It really does look like a wonderful day. I think I would've wanted to be on one of the support boats. Paddling would be good for me...but my limited experience with canoes tells me that I'm not good at it. And don't think I want to be! Hubby and I had a small boat and every now and then we would get swamped by the larger yachts racing past or heading in the opposite direction. We know how hard it is to handle the wake in a small boat so I'm glad the barge didn't upset anyone. Thanks for telling us about your very cool adventure.