September 4, 2010–St. Genevieve, MO

The needed parts arrived earlier than expected, to my satisfaction.  The repairs were quickly accomplished, and I was back on the water by 11:20.  I could not have asked for more agreeable weather today—the temp in the upper 70s, with a mild breeze.  The scenery very pleasant, sandy banks and dense brush, only occasionally marred by industry.  Some type of insects making a continuous drone from the forest, so powerfully that I could hear them from both banks when in the center of the channel.  Aside from them, I was treated to an almost perfect silence for most of the way.

The barge traffic much reduced from yesterday.  Saw the largest load to date, barges stacked four across and seven deep.  Above St. Louis, the maximum was always three by five.  Also observed a small squadron of Canadian geese, squawking above me—the first seen since Minnesota, probably.

I decided to call off the day’s journey in St. Genevieve to enjoy the historic elements of the town.  The mud along the riverbank so thick and deep that I sunk mid-thigh in the lugubrious ichor when climbing from my craft.

The town is very quiet and charming and claims the distinction of being the first town west of the Mississippi.  There is a fine large Catholic church, and many historic homes.  Took supper in a tavern built in 1855.  The impressive maple bar-top was carried from a foundering steamboat to the tavern by ox cart in 1855.

The strong current is a delight, as I am able to travel distances that once took all day with relative ease.  It also improves my mood, for the scenery passes quicker and I have a little more visual variety, albeit only variations on trees and bluffs.  Nevertheless, as that is how I track my progress during the day, it lends to a greater sense of satisfaction.

Day 43: 33 Mi.


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