Those who know me know that I like to take a 6 week trip on a yearly basis. Last year it was a roadtrip back to Michigan and a month in Colorado, year before it was upstate New York, before that Glacier NP and Yellowstone, etc… It is one of the benefits of my job, as long as I get someone to cover me, I do as I please. It makes up for not having any benefits.
I was thinking of heading up to Maine for the fall color change, after all I have never seen a Moose in the wild… Recently however, I’ve decided to do a 500 mile plus float trip on the Missouri river instead. I discovered that the Missouri is open water from Sioux City Iowa to St. Louis Missouri, 730 miles. Once I made this discovery, the Big Muddy started calling. After all, what reader of Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer hasn’t wanted to get a raft and mimic these all American mythical heroes? Certainly at 44, my time to accomplish this is getting short…so this is the year.
I am going to drive to Columbia Missouri in September and leave Shadow with my brother, then have my dad drive me and Smokey up to Sioux City (or just south of there) and drop us and our rafts off at the river. From there it is just over 500 river miles back to Columbia. 500 miles is my goal, it seems that this length is what separates a trip from a trek. Decatur Nebraska to Booneville Missouri is 495 miles…close enough to that 500 mile length to meet my needs.
The trip is still in the early planning stages, I’ve bought maps and found some internet guides and also priced out a couple of rafts and supplies. I am going to spend the time between now and the trip learning everything that I can about floating the Big Muddy. I’ve never done a boat trip other than short canoe rentals. I’ve opted for a pair of cheap rafts, one for me an the Smokester and one for supplies and gear…I don’t want to wrestle a dog in and out of an unstable canoe or kayak.
I don’t know anyone else that can take enough time off work to accompany me…so it seems that it will be a bonding time for Smokey and me.
I’ll give more details on the trip as the time for it approaches…