Wednesday, July 23, 2008

mr340 river race update no. 16

mr340 river race update no. 16-team division

We're not going to try and dissect the team division because they flew off the front so fast we barely had time to see the windmill flash of paddles. Let's just say that according to one member of the winning boat, it's better to have 6 captains, than one. Everyone's in charge and no one is. Puking. Part of the game. We'll cover for you for a while but get it together because it's going to look real bad if that surfer dude in a solo boat beats us.

I guess the passengers on these boats, which are traveling at almost 10 miles an hour, have time to enjoy the scenery and the moonrises during the race, I don't see how they can't. 'There's not much else out there to distract you from them. One of the more interesting teams in this year's race, team Z, was a mixed team tandem with 2 men and 2 women. Competeting against teams of 6 men, they had little chance, but they did finish 10th overall in a time of 51 hrs and 24 min.

Moon set on day 1, downstream of Miami. This race is always held during the full moon of either late July or early August. Once the moon sets, it's pretty dark out. You can still see the water, but if you hear growling ahead, better drop the paddles and make sure you're on the right side of the river lest you find yourself unexpectedly testing your whitewater skills in the dead of the night.

And here's the moon rise on day 3 near the approach to Berger Bend. This was definitely one of the more scenic parts of the river. The "growlers" (as Bryan Hopkins likes to call them) could be heard for several miles above the bend. The river gradient steepens through here and there's easily a mile or so of either natural riffles or man-made rock and wing dikes that line river right. They were partly submerged and it sounded like Niagara Falls on the approach. River left is a meander cut-off with a large (several square miles) copse of trees. There was enough drift from the recent floods crammed against the front of this copse to power every wood stove in the Ozarks through the winter.

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