April 15:  More mild weather, with a light breeze in my face.  Still, I made
                   18 miles in 7 1/2 hours.  I camped across from Portland and
                   fantasized about Portland, Oregon.  I find myself anticipating 
                   Jefferson City and a hot shower.  My physical appearance has
                   been reduced to three states: wet, sandy, and muddy.
                   Predominantly, I'm muddy.  Missouri river mud is unlike any mud
                   I've ever encountered.  It doesn't rinse off.  It doesn't even rub
                   off.  It clings.  Most mud, when watered down, washes off.  Not
                   Missouri mud.  You have to scrub it off, and even then it leaves a
                   residue.  My kayak, my clothing, my skin is permeated with it.
                   By the time I get to Kansas City, I'm going to look like Adobe
                   Man.  I was particularly aware of my appearance when I stopped
                   in at Herman's for supplies - the first time I've seen people since
                   St. Charles.
                   Today I passed the Gasconnade River.

                       Dusk on the Missouri.

  April 16:  The best of days and the worst of days.  With no wind in the 
                   morning I made 8 miles in 3 hours.  Then a front moved through
                   and I made only 5 miles in 4 hours.  I had hoped to make the
                   Osage River today, to be assured of reaching Jefferson City and
                   a hot shower tomorrow.  I need a day's rest, and civilization.

  April 17:  Got up early (5:30) so I could hit the river before the winds 
                   picked up.  I find my schedule tends to coincide with sunrise and
                   set.  Last night, for instance, I was asleep by 7:00.
                   I made good time and passed the Osage River this morning.  By
                   noon the wind picked up again, and when I spotted the State 
                   Capitol Dome rising Oz-like in the horizon, it still took me 4 hours
                   to go the final 6 miles.  I don't know if I've ever been happier to 
                   see a town.  Wash, eat, wash, sleep, collect supplies, wash, eat,
                   contact the real world, and rest: that's the schedule for tonight
                   and tomorrow.  I plan to put in again on Wednesday morning.

                   Total miles: 143
                   Total paddle time: 67 3/4 hours

                  The capitol dome beckons....

  April 18:  Rested, patched the kayak, and got supplies in Jefferson City.
                   People in Jefferson City couldn't have been kinder.  The building
                   manager of the State Library allowed me to store my kayak and 
                   gear behind the building, the manager of the Hotel deVille
                   treated me graciously despite the fact that I appeared on his
                   doorstep after a week on the river with my paddle in one hand
                   and a stow-bag in the other, and I looked like a refugee from the
                   wars: muddy from head to toe, unshaven, wild-eyed.  That a
                   formal reception was occuring in the lobby at the time added to
                   the contrast.  The Enterprise car rental people were also most
                   helpful, picking me up at the hotel and dropping me off at the
                   river bank on Wednesday morning.  When I checked out of the
                   hotel, the young woman at the desk, who had heard of my
                   expedition, told me I was her hero!  I was inspired.

  April 19:  For once, a tailwind!  After a late start, I made great time today
                   I had one nervous moment late in the afternoon when a violent
                   thunderstorm moved through.  I could see and hear it coming,
                   but thought I could get around just one more bend before I
                   would do the prudent thing and pull in for shelter.  Unfortunately,
                   the "one more bend" was guarded by a huge sandbar - nearly
                   1 1/2 miles long.  As I was paddling furiously to get around the 
                   sandbar, the storm struck.  Lightning bolts flashed all around
                   me, thunder rolled, and the skies opened up with a torrential
                   downpour.  I didn't mind the rain, but I felt awfully exposed in
                   the middle of the river with all that lightning.  Next time, I'll be

                 Richard's lush accomodations

  April 20:  The storm that passed through yesterday cleared the skies, but
                   brought in its wake stiff headwinds, 30+ mph and easily as 
                   strong as those I faced crossing the Mississippi.  To add to my
                   misery, by afternoon another storm moved in, adding a cold,
                   driving rain to the wind.

  April 21:  No rain today, but the wind continued unabated until 5:00 pm.,
                   by which time I was too tired to take advantage of the calm.  The
                   rest in Jefferson City must have done me good, or I must be
                   stronger than I was a week ago, because I still managed 34
                   miles in the last two days.

                    Click here for days 15 - 21 of Richard's journal