April 29:  Well-rested, I made great progress today, with a partly
                   cloudy and windless day.  I stopped in Napolean, Missouri to
                   meet Harry Hoy, who gave me useful information on good 
                   stopping points ahead.  He and his wife met me at my
                   campsite at Fort Osage, brought me dinner, and after he
                   took his wife home, Harry came back and camped with me.
                   His company was most welcome and entertaining.  
                   20 miles traveled today.

                             Richard (left) and Harry.

  April 30:  A muggy, overcast day punctuated by a torrential 
                   thunderstorm in the afternoon.  I had the good sense to pull
                   over and take shelter on the bank until it passed.  Rain again
                   21 miles traveled today.

     May 1:  Passed through Kansas City today, a striking change from
                   what is becoming predictable scenery, although virtually 
                   none of the city extends to the river except railroad yards
                   and warehouses.  There was a good deal of barge and 
                   dredging activity around K.C. - getting around these 
                   operations was at times a challenge.
                   Paddled past Parkville late this afternoon, where joggers
                   along the riverside park waved encouragement.  I think I
                   strained my right wrist trying to get around one of the 
                   dredging sites.
                   Traveled 21 1/2 miles today.  Built a campfire to dry my
                   boots and socks.

                              A bend in the river...

     May 2:  It rained again last night, heavily at times, but I've been 
                   keeping dry in my tent.  So far I get wetter from paddling or
                   getting in and out of the boat (my boots are constantly wet),
                   than from rain.  Not a soul on the river today, not even a tug,
                   but I'm seeing lots of wild turkeys along this stretch, and I
                   hear them at night.  Got beyond Leavenworth and 
                   contemplated going further but decided not to put any extra 
                   strain on my wrist, which is definitely strained.
                   Traveled 21 1/2 miles today.

     May 3:  Best day yet.  The fifth straight day with little wind, and today
                   there were very few wing dikes to circumvent, giving me a 
                   sense of what the upper sections of the river might be like.  It
                   rained again last night - three out of the last four nights have
                   been wet.
                   I camped near a beaver lodge, and saw a beaver paddling 
                   home at dusk, presumably after a hard day's work.  Beavers
                   are a major pest on the river.  I see their work everywhere on
                   downed and dying trees.  My wrist held up all right today, and 
                   I was able to average 3 mph - much better than I'd ever
                   expected so early in the journey.  If my hands hold up, I 
                   should be able to make the Continental Divide in time to
                   avoid snow.
                   Traveled 24 miles today.

     May 4:  I made good time today, but my wrist started to really act up.
                   I made it to the St. Joseph Boat Club, about five miles below
                   the city, where I hoped to meet some people who were 
                   recommended to me by the folks in St. Charles.  No one was
                   at the site, but fortunately a member pulled in just after me.
                   He let me into the building so I could phone for a car rental.  
                   My wrist was sore enough so that I really needed to rest it,
                   and it seemed wiser to stop after only six hours of paddling
                   rather than push on at the risk of further injuring myself.  I'll
                   give myself a full three days rest in St. Joseph, then try to
                   push on Monday morning.

                    Click here for days 28-35 of Richard's journal