July 1

After waking up shivering from the AC it was time to trade the ship in for the kayak and press on. As I dropped my boat off the deck of the barge and loaded it up, the crew gave me some last minute tips about what I should expect for the rest of the Ohio and the Mississippi. They were concerned that I had enough water and kept trying to give me a whole case of bottled water. I'm not sure if they realized that I am the one pushing the boat down the river instead of the 11,000 horse power boat they are used to. After they tried to unload the entire pantry on me I finally told one of them that I saw some cake mix in the kitchen and he should go bake that. I think they would have actually done it if I hadn't called them off. I couldn't be more thankful for the hospitality that was shown by the entire company. But I have 45 miles to the Mississippi so I had to get moving. A few miles down river I started hearing rushing water. It looked like a rapid but I knew better. I decided to head to shore to scout it out. Then I saw a boat flying towards me. It was actually a dam that the water was flowing over and the worker stopped me and said I was about 30 seconds from dying. Since that's not on my bucket list I decided to listen to him and head away from it. He started towing me to safety but was going too fast. I broke free and paddled to the other side of the river that was passable. With a near death experience under my belt I felt like Superman so I did what a super hero would do and stopped in town. But not any town, Metropolis, IL. The home of Superman. I got a few pictures with the giant statue and a few rounds of food.  On my way back to my boat I got thinking about how I was almost done with the Ohio river and that I had been paddling for a month. Not knowing if I would have an opportunity like this again I decided to try my luck as a real river traveler. A riverboat gambler that is. I went into the casino for a bit. After all I had escaped death already today so luck had to be on my side. Well let's just say that getting saved at the dam earlier was where my luck had run out. A quick in and out, several dollars were now in the pockets of Harrah’s Casino. I continued on and tried to find a nice camping spot. The only problem was the entire bank was thigh high in mud. Finally as the sun was setting and filling the sky with color I saw a concrete boat ramp in the middle of nowhere. I pulled up and decided it was the spot. I walked down the dirt road and it lead nowhere so I figured it was a good spot. As I was setting up camp I heard a truck approach and saw head lights. I waved and went to talk to them. It was 2 younger guys and I asked if I could park there. They said it was public and shouldn't be a problem. They asked if I smoked weed. I said I wish but no I didn't. When I told them that I didn't drink either I think they thought I had to be lying. They couldn't get over the fact that I am paddling all day everyday and not smoking weed. To be honest, somedays I can't either. Shortly after another one of their friends pulled up, I went on to finish setting up camp and they eventually left. I think I might have delayed their smoke session but I'm sure they found somewhere else. I then realized that it was July 1st, a Saturday, holiday weekend and a public boat ramp might not have been the best spot to camp. Then I heard another truck pull up with a family with kids. They came down to watch the fireworks show that was across the river. I talked with them for a while as 2 more trucks came up to see them. They told me if I was around Monday I could come to their cookout but I will hopefully be a ways down on the Mississippi. Everyone cleared out leaving me to wonder how often and what kind of people will find there way down the mile long dirt road to this spot through out the night.