End of the line. Tired and broke. Caruthersville, Missouri.
We met an awesome guy named Davey from Scotland who now lives in New York, he found us a fellow at a pub in Caruthersville who wanted to take The Snowball off our hands. Our idea of setting fire to it after taking the foam out to avoid leaving a piece of floating trash on the river, does not need to happen. I like it this way better. The Snowball is a great platform: rock stage, fishing deck, party boat, barbeque, hunting, yoga and meditation, or all of these at the same time. Long live The Snowball in it’s new home.
The joyride to pick up my tent from the other campsite on our new flatbed utility boat. A coast guard bouy tender in the background. Seeing the pile of our possessions strewn on the beach, a piece of conversation was overheard comming from their vessel, “Do they need help?” It really did look like a shipreck.
Thanks to everyone who helped us out in Kansas City, The Crooked Hat, the house across the street, Jimmy who we met at Cooper’s Landing and all the Cooper’s Landing late night drinkers, all the St. Charles anarchist people, those random donations of food from river rats loitering around boat ramps, Davey from New York, and everyone else who helped us along the way.
All the photos taken on this journey were on a $99 Polaroid a300 digital camera, thanks to Paula for giving me the thing, otherwise, there would be no photos.
See ya next time.
If you have any questions, drop me a note. firstname.lastname@example.org
A chunk of driftwood stuck in the mud proved to be the culprit putting the brakes on our roll. This was a good thing, as it saved a portion of the rolling for Peat, and when he returned from town we pried from the side and off it went.
We were all very happy this night, tho every day since Savannah & Zoe left after the Two Headed Dog went down has been somehow strange and lacking. Half the flotilla gone. It isn’t even a flotilla anymore, it’s only a float. We miss you.
It’s good to do different things, keeps your mind working. I’m on a break from the river now, waiting for all the water dumped upstream from here to come down in it’s slow time. After this weekend perhaps. All the rest of the crews have gone up to Minneapolis to work and play. I’m loving being here, hanging out with people is awesome, exploring St. Louis more, sitting in Black Bear Bakery drinking coffee and writing down this story i’ve been working on all winter and spring and summer.
I fixed a garden hose today for the house next door, the Momo, i stepped on it the first night we were here and water went gushing everywhere. After two attempts, i got it working today, still a little drip coming out. Having problems with water lately.
It’s kinda sad having everyone gone. But good to, cause i’ve been on a boat with four other people and a dog for a month now, and i am a person who has learned to be happy when i am alone. Sometimes that means i dont know how to be happy around other people, so i just want to be with myself, cause it’s easier that way, i dont have to deal with anyone but myself, and i have learned how to talk to myself very well.
I am putting up some more photos of the journey so far, cause all this flood stuff is too linear.
We made it to Washington, Missouri today, a fine old library here. The Snowball and The Two Headed Dog, safely tied up to the rocky bank. Immediately upon stumbling up to the top of the bank a fellow in a car stops by to chat, he’s gone down the river, and out on the ocean. He gives Peat a ride to the marina, looking for a prop to get our third engine running. The space shuttle has triple backup systems, and so will we. St. Louis is a wild bottleneck in the river, and right after the Missouri joins it, so the extra thrust will put us into the proper orbit as we pass over the wreck of The Circle Of Death, the appropriately named boat a friend of ours nearly went down in a couple years ago.
Today is my friend Siobhan’s birthday, happy birthday! Mostly what i have to do is make sure i call and get ahold of her. Just one phone call. That’s top of the list in town. Next on the list, hmmm… Perhaps a little debby snack. Who knows. Or Stag beer. Everything is better with Stag beer. If only we were sponsored by them, and could pick up a case or two in every town… Maybe there is something to this big money boat trip thing. Aw, hell. I took the canoe into town today and watched from the top of the bank my boat, The Snowball, come into shore. What a terrifyfing sight! The current sweeping it down, the 3.5 horse power motor working for the shore! The boat is only 8 foot wide by twenty feet long. It looks so tiny on the big river, back in the driveway in Kansas City it seemed huge, like we could each build our own cabin on the deck.
We have a new sturdy roof built and it even seems water proof. Ready for the next raging fist of atmosphere to massage our blue tarps. The zipper on my tent blew out, jammed with mud and sand. I sewed up the zipper and cut out the screen from the door window, so now i go in thru the window. Peat sleeps on the boat under a mosquito net mostly, cause his tent is busted. Maybe Ged clawed a hole in it… Fern and Bella share a tent. Z. and S. alternate, one sleeping on the boat, one in a tent. After the storms the river dropped down a bunch, five feet one night. I awoke to see The Two Headed Dog with a space you could crawl underneath it. S. woke up wondering why her head was lower than her feet, and then turned around and went back to sleep. It’s a small aluminum boat so easy to slide off the shore. Our boat, the plywood pontoons, not so easy to slide, but everything is a lot of mud now so you just loosen the rope and it oozes back into the river.
Been foraging a decent amount, Goosefoot, Stinging Nettle, Wood Nettle, Evening Primrose, Wild Grapes.
Between the two boats we have found 5 plastic decoy ducks that now happily trail along the sides on our journey.
Here is the link to my book: “Unsinkalbe: How To Build Plywood Pontoons &
Longtail Boat Motors Out Of Scrap”
Here we are working on the pontoons for the shanty boat. So far all material is from the trash (except screws and glue). The sections assembled will make a pontoon boat 10 feet wide and 24 feet long, each one stuffed with buckets, bottles, foam, and anything else that will cause bouyancy. All of which is free. Below is a picture of my flatbed bicycle cart loaded with foam found in the trash. You hardly need a few bills in your pocket to go down the river.
Below is a shot of the assembly of the middle of a pontoon. The sections will be attached with bolts, then stuffed with stuff that floats, and capped on the top with plywood. The two pontoons will be attached to each other with 2×4’s, bolted into the pontoons with lag bolts.
We decided, on this day, to call our boat “The Snowball”.