Missouri Flood “Voyage”


On Monday, two friends I packed into what was advertised as a “four-person” inflatable boat and paddled our way through some flood waters near McBaine, Missouri. A short video summarizing our experiences below:


That video shows most of what we experienced: there was a lot of water and we couldn’t get moving very fast. However, there are two key elements of this adventure that the video does not show:

1. How very wrong “four-person” turned out to be. To put it in literary terms, there is no way to accurately describe how we arranged ourselves in the raft without treading the thin gray line between “Huckleberry Finn” and “50 Shades of Grey”. We were on top of each other. Which is probably for the best because if we weren’t so concerned with not trying to fall out of the raft we might have noticed more of element number two.

2. This could of have been a poop joke. The waters we were paddling were right next to the water treatment plant. Some, if not most of the water we waded and paddled through, was waste water run-off. But the real number two was drowned rats. Or more accurately, drowned rat. I almost stepped on one but as the saying goes: “for every drowned rat you see, there are ten more under the debris you were walking through.”

Aside from one large, mysterious splash, aquatic life was at a minimum. At night, however, the noise of wildlife replaces the sounds of the trucks coming in and out of the water treatment plant. While the bird calls of the day were mostly gone too, the air was thick with frog noise. There were frogs advertising their sexual prowess (“ribbet-ing” for her pleasure) on the road, on the banks, and deep out in the water. While some might find the performance an impressive display of nature’s chorus, that feeling will wear off in a minute. It’s loud and annoying. Aside from safety reasons, this is why I’d only venture into the water during the day.

As impressive as the flooding was, the water was off the road by Wednesday. Good news for people who’s homes were surrounded by water and needed to use a boat to come and go, bad news for frogs looking to score.

This concludes flood posts. Next week, I’m heading to the forest.