Friday, December 18, 2015

Thankyou to: Lila Rose Scott
Leo PErshall
Hans List
Tom List
Michael Weiner
Jay virok
Justin Derbes
John Salmen
Jim Harris
Jerry Bernstien
Chas Salmn
Julia Salmen
Peck Tierney
Peggy and Bill Stuart
Andre Knock
Ian orslund
Andy Bodenbender
Morgan Simmons
Kevin and Elise
Mike from Roetger
Sam Scher
James Scher
Tom Brocken in Sports
Grease Pit
Aldred Chipman and Starbuck Canvas Works
Rebecca PSkowski
Devlin Brown
Robin Von Breton
JEsse Lemon
Laura Scher and Tammy Ward
Hudson Bike Sop
Java JEn
Hudosn Police
Marzolfs- Besy, Julie, Kate, Wayde, Buzz, Mary, Emma, Abby, Emmet, Mitchell
George and Mary Joe
Bill tinton
Chris Kobs
Harry Chin Bruce
Carl Bellinger
Andy B. Stillwater courreir
Brandy pioneer press
john sanford
brynna scherloum
matthew tierney
shawn kely
thor heyerdahl
mark twain
huckelberry finn
sterling from menards
j and b recy ling
city of stillwater, hudson, troy
christ rust wine
ronny b
matt (despite some things)
L.A. River YEllowcats
Isaac from Routes
Andrew from Roots
Melissa in cosmotology school and her mom
Andy in diamond bluffs
Fisherman and son with smallmouth bass
Ken adn Audrew Long
KElvian Brian, Brandon
Dean from ACE
ACE Hardware Redwing stillwater
ron carlson
brian and his pop john
 jeff the cop
duane hook
bill hastings coop
laura social worker
red wing food shelf
cheryla nd her romeo
kay and sister adn suzanne and carol
e adn barb
bruce and hohn
locke adn dorothy
jim and joe at fishfloat
some beers from wabashaw
dave harris
health food guy
cherry trees
ken dan dennis duane mark dawn at Lock 5

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Months now have passed, a bit of perspective.
There were many things anticipated about this journey, what it would be about, what it would be for, what would be learned. Overwhelmingly these expectations proved to be inadequate, inappropriate and naive. Sure, we learned about water quality and river towns, sure we learned about wild edibles and what plants don't work well to weave with. Personally however, this trip was about time, about learning to notice nine months pass down almost to each minute, and learning about each other. It is an amazing thing that Hannah and Lindsey did this thing together, it is amazing the depth with which we learned and became comfortable with each other. Our reliance on each other was so thorough that there were no quarrels ended by going to one end and the other of our tiny home, the situation demanded resolve and calm at whatever cost. We know now how dependent we are on others though we tried our best to hold our own, how grateful one can be for those things offered without any prompt and how sometimes selflessly generous to allow others to give. And the river has shown us these things. These things about ourselves as much as about itself. This river while determining how and where and why Bernadette moved and stopped, gave us this great gift, freedom and exposure. These things we have won, this project of time, of nine months, of six hundred and fifty or so miles, of space, of patience and resilience, of beauty and awe, things we struggled to not take for granted exposed to those magical moments of vacation constantly but at the cost of aesceticism and instability.
Now, warm by a fire in a home i can decorate and work on, i value the prospect of building something permanent, working on the land and learning slowly what it has to offer.
So in response to repeated urging, this is my sign off, my declaration of victory. We did an amazing thing and I have changed forever because of it.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

and something else

Regarding donations: We appreciate all the donations we have recieved. Since we have decided to stop here in St. Charles we are willing to give back any donations we've recieved, or we'll use it to rent a car to get back to the Quad Cities, and curb our overall losses.

We are now looking for a good home for our raft. It will be a platform with paddle wheels and hatches throughout. It can be hauled out if you have a trailer, or towed anywhere you'd like. Please, if anyone is interested in a mobile swimming dock, or pontoon-type boat, please email us and let us know.

We've started writing our end of the trip postcards, so if we've met you and you forgot to give us your address, you should send it on over and we'll send you one too.

Its unbelievable how amazing everyone has been, how positive and inspiring. We'll be thinking about it all for a long long time. Thank you.

So we have started to take her apart. The owner of the harbor has offered us the showerhouse to sleep in, with a back room and heat. We've been staying warm in Bill's boat (where we've been tied up for the past month) and in Jamie and Dave's boat, when the campfires have not been warm enough to keep us through the nights. It's 13 degrees right now and the wind is gusting 15 to 20mph. But yesterday we successfully moved out of the harbor during the few hours it was warm enough to break up the ice. Only paddlewheels moving us again into the slough. But oh it's frozen in now. Tied up to the rocks but with little on it. We'll be taking the walls down tomorrow and hopefully relocating them to the farm to become an outdoor kitchen? oh boy.

It's been amazing here. People are so wonderful, it feels wrong to be leaving at all. But we'll have to come back to find a home for the platform and paddlewheels once the river is soft enough to move her again. Thankgoodness for that.

Conceding Defeat

It has been weeks.

And although we excelled in the areas of solar panels, batteries, moral support, water containers, and stoves, the motor we needed came too late. Too late to spend unknown money for an unknown journey which the Coast Guard deemed crazy, impossible and forbidden.

That warning actaully just got us fired up more, they can't tell us its too cold to be on the river, they can't scare us. But after the harbor froze, and indecision continued on and on, the momentum surely abated.

Andrew and Patty came down to help finish the journey with us, and we moved up to the North Shore Oasis in St. Charles. Incredibly, amazingly, lovingly, supportive and hospitable. After a week we were three, not four, and though the campfires were warm and beautiful, and the karaoke and beer was flowing through us, the cold, the snow, the ice persisted.

We have conceded defeat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The News from St. Louis

So we've been relaxing. After another six weeks on the water it feels nice to be walking around so much. And although we've been warned by many, the encouragement by others to try and go the rest of the way is winning out. It was a hard last week on the water, and we both thought we'd had it, our bodies broken from the cold and sleeping on the hard floor, Hannah having a cold, the wind being relentless. But after thinking over the advice we've gotten from tug boat drivers, ex coast guard officers and rafters, it seems terrible to give up here without even trying the lower river. It's been done before. We just need to be prepared. And here we are preparing.

We are rearranging the boat to accommodate two other crew members, having had some makes us value their presence and getting rid of junk we've stored up seems like a necessity anyway. We've already found more solar panels, and a promise of a little heater. We are looking into buying a bigger outboard, another anchor, and another battery.

We have also set up a paypal account to try and raise funds to get these additional items, and to pay for the gasoline that we will, it seems, be using much more of downriver. The current is faster, time to dodge traffic is less and the amount of traffic increased will surely require more dodging.

Oh and Hannah's mom and grandma came and checked the boat out. Mother approved. Wheee!

Pictures to Come

So after a week with our additional crew of Patrick from St. Louis, and Alex from Winona, we arrived in St. Charles county to the back of a kind boat for resting and regrouping.

The last few days aboard were hard, stuck a million times. Our battery had drained and we pull-started our little Pushcart Rally III (the outboard) every time... warming it up as we warmed ourselves for the day and then pulling with all our might as we may need it. Which was frequent. The winds were blowing sideways most days at 15 to 20 mph.

But adventure was had, we made fires and kept warm by them, went to sleep and woke up to a frosty deck (Patrick climbed down from the hammock bed he'd been sleeping in to piss in the night and almost slipped off the boat). We drank coffee and sang songs. Lost and found many pushing poles. We had thanksgiving 2 weeks early with a family who "loved novel things."

Here we traded turnips for the bounty of hot peppers we'd traded for picking up trash in a farmers field in Clarksville... more turnips than we could eat, and now waiting for what they could be traded for. Oh what a barter economy, how lovely to participate.

And arriving in St. Charles, landing really, as we are now on land, is quite nice. Calm. Cold yes but at least dry. And nobody has to get in the water any time soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Louisiana missourri
cairo illinois
louisiana louisiana
wyoming minnesota

louisiana missourri
soothsayers knowing our outdoor sleeping
knowing our vagabonding and walkey talkeying
odd putting

and a night under a bridge next to a motel and a railroad
horn sounding

and now clarksville, abandoned from the riverview
but gardening and cooking and glassblowing
and walking and meeting many talkers, informationers

Alex from Winona is with us now, probably for a few towns next
till St. Louis probably.

And we have little if any cell phone service.
I bet we'll not be posting till we land in St. Charles for our stay in Saint Louis.
Wish us luck with the wind and cold, at our backs, our well covered backs.

Friday, October 31, 2008


it feels comfy to be here.

and we play at tourist game.

at home and huck and tom and becky. and jim.

and it's halloween is why the circles and the green, heh.

and it's halloween and we gotta go flee this candy store, out to the extravaganza on the street. over and out.

This i must mention:

The beginning of the trip was quite stimulating, fresh and new, and every library we entered was a computer waiting for reflection, waiting for an account of our adventures for the previous 2 or 10 or 15 days. It felt easy to write, worth while.
Today, it is halloween, i have eaten candy all day, sitting in a candy shop even now (instead of trick or treating, and instead of a library internet connection) writing. But outside is a new friend talking with hannah as i had been talking with him (and so many people... see, so many people) for hours, about politics, religion, deeply entering all those facets taboo in most public settings, freely, openly, without any risk for our passing and temporary nature. Outside is a halloween party, full of music, and pet costumes, probably more candy, and all the people that we have been meeting this day and a half now spent in Hannibal.

I find it hard to keep track, hard to record, hard to care about spending time remembering the details, so millions of them, when they are ongoing and always.

I have a million thoughts, i have said them a million times over to a million people with whom i've been having the same conversations, differing because of these new viewpoints i encounter. But i find dispersing my thoughts this way to be overtaking the preserving of them for later contemplation.

Let it be known, i talk about the prophet john's revelations quite frequently, i talk about an inability to relate and ignorance of the expereince of those dislike oneself, i talk about the root feeling of traveling, the tapping of a deep essence of humanity while physically moving through space and relying on reaction and spontaneity to navigate the unknown.

I find it unfortuante that there is more writing than pictures or video here, i find it unfortuante that there is even precious little of that to share with you. But hey, maybe i'll write a book someday, and hopefully remember enough of it all to fill in the blanks.

here's some about quincy:

which was an interesting place.

breezed in, truly, and it was cold and breeze should say gusted,

and ungreatly got stuck in the muck off the tip of an island maybe 200 feet from our supposed dock, and had to have the fire department get us freed, and the tv came down cos they heard that call, and so we were on tv getting stuck and unstuck. and we went to a bar until midnight, where we were transformed temporarily into two englishmen.

And then it froze. The first time, and we woke in the morning thinking, my, it must not have frozen, because we were so warm. So our plants inside, our morning bright, we awoke to a new day unknowing of what is in store.

and then we got stuck again when the water went down that night, so that the next day when it was time to leave after getting sweet deals on necessities at the marine store up the hill, we couldn't budge.

but probably it was all predestined, and turned in many wonderful ways.

with robert on his canoe catching up to us just in time to coordinate our saviour john's dredging and pulling operation. and twelve at least very nice gentlemen and even one little boy with red hair pushed meanwhile. it was pretty amazing and worked and took at least 3 hours to do.

at which point the sun was going down, and so we docked just 100 feet away at the boat club, and drank and ate for a second night until midnight. complete with the englishmen, who stayed their own selves.

We awoke, with more and more discussions, politics, reflections, observations about this part of the country, the sometimes narrowsighted priveledge of community and values of achievement and success.

We are not trying to prove anything. We are on this trip for ourselves, and sucking up as much as we can it seems to reflect back onto us in peculiar ways. As should be expected. An assumption about freeloading or an assumption about needing.

We have been thinking about hosting dinners with all the food we have accumulated. Happily now some of it donated to the Hannibal food shelf where we heard on the news the need is larger than past years.

I wonder what of this has to do with flooding, with being helped so recently, losing livelihood to natural disaster (though we've heard not to national financial crisis yet). Feeling obliged to give back though skeptical that we are deserving.

And then we floated on again, making time to the lock, though finding our canoist friend waiting there as well. We find the lock anxiously waiting our speedy entry once we have finished our bacon basil and tomato sandwitches, and with rather little interest in conversation. There is a tug waiting to lock up. We share some picture taking with Robert and then see him off down the river.

Maybe we've already mentioned: his blog, his satellite tracker, is linked in our link section.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Backtracking and updating

Pictures to come.

We must mention Nauvoo.
(there is a child moaning as he wanders around the library here, tipping over the trashcan, running behind the reference desk)
But nauvoo, we learned about weaving, weaving on wagon wheels, in triangles, making bread in a fireplace, about Mormons, oh so much about mormons, or really i should call them the saints, as that is what they seem to call themselves.

And we felt the generosity of the river, people taking care of us, more food than we can eat and more smiles than we can remember.

The wind on our side. Blowing from the north. Blowing cold from the north.
La Grange held us for a day, enduring day one of the 45 mile an hour gusts, the Mark Twain casino with free hot chocolate and warmth. The Green Chapel Baptist church with many well wishes and chili and tacos.
And then. and then.

More wind. And we're here now in Quincy finally. Stopping unexpectedly to restock, get some new paddles and an anchor light. A windy life these days have been, but we have wool and eachother to keep warm at night. And at least it is at our backs.

The accents keep changing. The cross over from Iowa to Missourri was pretty impressive. The peculiar punctuations of heed (head) and deef (deaf), heem (him) added into an otherwise standard american english accent, became quite natural in Alexandria, and Canton and La Grange, being now surrounded in a slower, more southern, or redneck (as a man in Alexandria described himself) pronunciation.

It has sure changed a lot. We met a man today, working on the army corps dredge, confirmed he was from up north, but wisconsin, not minnesota as his accent (from across the water over the engines) implied to me.

It is getting cold.
My face is red and chapped. My fingers stay warm in the yarn i'm knitting into pants. Oh warm pants.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


perhaps we should have been taking more pictures since we made it to missouri.

but it's quite something since here we've been. maybe it's many things. people here are a change. there's a new accent, with words like "heem" and "warsh." and there's something about we're come from minnesota that's far more impressive from here on out.
and we're deep in floodland. where all the houses are on stilts and half of them are unoccupied since the waters rose this year again and again.

and the factories and barges are multiplying. ten in one day yesterday.

and we're in canton, and we've been to alexandria of purple cow and wild dogs, and we'll be in hannibal and louisiana and st. louis. in weeks. and that's crazy.

lock 19: big one

we left our last town in iowa in the afternoon, to make it over to lock 19 in time for the meeting of when the winds die down and the sunlight still lasts a little while. we'd been hearing about this one from way back at lock 5a, this one's the biggest drop we'd see. scary scary. and horror stories got more horrible from burlington on. and it looked ominous enough, from miles away.

but when we got closer, the folks were nice and gentle to us. they even gave us a bag of apples from their tree, showed us how to tie up, and wished us all sorts of well.

and so we went:

fifteen or so minutes and then we were out. they said the water would be running seven miles an hour past the dam, but it was actually two. which is just fine, quite nice. and four more miles of iowa.