This weekend I kayaked with some friends from Meramec State Park in Sullivan, MO to Castlewood State Park in St. Louis. In two days we travelled a distance of roughly 81 miles, starting at mile marker 88 and taking out at marker 169.
On Saturday night we planned to camp at Robertsville State Park. About 5 miles up river from the park we stopped in at Old Cove Canoe and Kayak to see if they had some cold drinks we could purchase. We met Darryl, one of the owners, down at the river where he was greeting people as they finished their float trips.
After a talking with him briefly about our adventure he allowed us to camp there for the night. Even better he generously provided us with cold drinks and all the barbecue we could eat! After 11 hours of paddling it was heaven. To top it off one of the Old Cove customers handed us a round of cold Bud Lights.
While staying there instead of the state park caused us to miss our mile target for the day, it was well worth it to hang out with the great people at Old Cove. Thanks to Darryl, Kathy and Phil!
We finished the trip at about 5pm on Sunday, sun-beaten and smelling like river rats - but mostly ecstatic that we didn't have to paddle anymore. 11 hours of padding per day, for 2 days. Who knows, with a little more practice maybe we'll take on the Missouri 340 next year.
Very special thanks to Skip and his crew at Green's Canoe Rental in Steelville who helped us out a great deal. Skip may be one of the most knowledgeable floating outfitters I've had the pleasure of meeting - with an absolutely great personality. If you're ever looking to rent canoes or equipment up near Steelville, MO, then I highly recommend Green's Canoe Rental.
Jason, Nick, Erin, and me at Old Cove.
Our 81 mile route down the Meramec River.