last year, patrick flew to mexico to film heath rowing down the sea of cortez for epicly later'd, returning both jealous and inspired. he immediately started pitching the idea to row, paddle or drift down the mississippi river.
heath was the only one of us with any experience on the water but i couldn't resist.
this is scott smith, our friend, fixer and point guy in st. louis. he went above and beyond in helping us get this trip organized - driving us around, allowing us to ship stuff to and stay at his house, buying gear and delivering it wherever, etc. he's a lifesaver.
here, he's showing us the "chain of rocks", a point in the river near st. louis that is off limits to boats due to a literal wall of rocks barricading the river.
the only other option is a channel to the east that is only wide enough for two lanes of freight traffic. the possibility of getting stuck behind, in front of or between two freighters wasn't terribly enticing either.
it looked possible to us. the river was high enough and we could see spots between the rocks that looked like we might be able to slither through. honestly, it was a pretty weak little rapid but a challenge nonetheless.
because we're starting 100 miles upriver in hannibal, we won't be back to this spot for about a week. we could decide then wether we go through or try to portage the boats around it.
scott took us to a skatepark built into an old church.
i like a certain amount of torture but i hate exercise. when we were discussing the options of how to get down the river, paddling or rowing sounded
like hell to me. similarly, building some huck finn style raft and drifting also sounded pretty perilous and difficult. i had figure something else out...