2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hermann Community Impromptu River Clean-Up Admirable

What if ALL Missouri River communities were so motivated?  Wow!  Impressive!

And, it was bitter cold yesterday…

“The fact that 16 volunteers made it to the clean-up with less than 36 hours notice on a holiday weekend is testimony to the commitment and enthusiasm these people have for the river. ”

For full story click HERE

HermannCleanUpDec29

Follow up re: Brower’s Spring, stickers, promo video

…Woke up midnight last night and imagined Brower’s Spring with perfect spring corn snow skiing conditions in April, which is when we used to ski peaks on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mts in the 80’s.  I broke out into a huge smile.  Then, repeating over and over, “pray, believe…pray, believe…”, I drifted back to sleep.

I will be starting at the source.  That’s it.  No more wavering.

HiketoBrowers3D

My stickers are in the mail.  I modified them by changing the color to blue, from black, and the miles to 2600, from 2300.

BlueSticker_REV

Met with Jim Karpowicz today and we are on the move to create a promo video in order to generate some wide-reaching support and, hopefully, funding. It’s going to be great!

If you haven’t already, please “like” my loveyourbigmuddy Facebook page.  I can post little updates there with a bit more spontaneity.

Happy New Year!

Live fast ~ Paddle slow

Dreaming About a Source Start

HiketoBrowers3D

Starting at the source of the Missouri River will entail getting to Brower’s Spring, which is at the top of Hell Roaring Canyon.  From the bottom of the canyon (left-center) the hike is seven miles in and seven out, over SNOW in April.  If Sawtelle Peak access road is plowed (doubtful) in April (right), the ski over is only a couple of miles along the Continental Divide, then down the canyon.  I see ski-mountaineering revisiting my life this spring.  Breaking out the 3-pin bindings!

live fast ~ paddle slow

My Expedition Sticker

FirstSticker_REV

My Daughter, Haley, helped me with a sticker design today.  I ordered 100 of them.  Let me know what you think.  Would you like one?  Should I make more?  How about a different design?  I would like to use these for a tiered giving donation reward.  Learning as I go…

live fast ~ paddle slow

Canadian Paddler Rod Wellington & a MO Riv Source Start

Rod-photo_Coops_12-18-2012
Photo by Rod Wellington

Canadian paddler Rod Wellington passed through Cooper’s Landing last Monday and Tuesday, Dec 17-18.  He is paddling from the source of the Missouri River at Brower’s Spring, MT, to the Gulf of Mexico, all self-propelled.  This is the longest river system in North America, and fourth longest in the world.  Rod will be the first Canadian to paddle the MO from source to sea.  Australian paddler Mark Kalch completed the route earlier this year.

Norm Miller (left) and Mark Kalch (right) at Hell Roaring Creek in June 2012
Norm Miller (left) and Mark Kalch (right) at Hell Roaring Creek in June 2012

Altogether, Rod will paddle seven of the longest rivers on seven different continents.  The Missouri River is his first.  He has been on the river since June, a total of six months.  His river systems project could take up to 15 years.

Photo by Rod Wellington
Photo by Rod Wellington

After a pot luck dinner and visiting with many interested locals, he graciously sat with me and poured over photos and a map from the Brower’s Spring area, the Missouri River source, to Three Forks, the headwaters of the MO Riv, a 298 miles stretch and one in which I am debating whether to include on my trip.

MAP_Browers-ThreeForks-USA

MAP_Browers-ThreeForks_flip

Browers-August
Cairn at Brower’s Spring with Continental Divide behind. Photo taken in August 2011 while scouting the source (photo by Rod Wellington)
Continental Divide at Brower's Spring in June 2012-by Rod Wellington
Continental Divide at Brower’s Spring in June 2012 (photo by Rod Wellington)
Looking down from the spring in June 2012.  Undoubtedly, April will have a LOT more snow. -by Rod Wellington
Looking down from the spring in June 2012. Undoubtedly, April will have a LOT more snow. (photo by Rod Wellington)

No firm decisions yet as there are a few dicey stretches, like hiking/skiing/snowshoeing over snow for seven miles into Brower’s Spring, and seven miles out.  And, a few days of dodging and portaging around farmers’ barbed wire/electrical/corrugated panel fences which cross a mere 20′ wide water way below the Lima Reservoir on the Red Rock River.  Not to mention that the Red Rock Lakes Wildlife Refuge, located above the Lima Reservoir, is closed in April.

At least now I have a greater understanding of what my obstacles and options are.  I have an unrelenting desire to capture some of that 298-mile stretch for its sheer beauty.  Some of it may have to be biked.  Thanks, Rod, for spending that time with me.

Jefferson River below Twin Bridges
Jefferson River below Twin Bridges (photo by Norm Miller)
Deer on Jefferson River (photo by Norm Miller)
Deer on Jefferson River (photo by Norm Miller)
Rain approaching Jefferson River (photo by Norm Miller)
Rain approaching Jefferson River (photo by Norm Miller)

Understandably, Rod needed to leave Cooper’s Landing and continue

Rod and Jonathan at Cooper's Landing.
Rod and Jonathan at Cooper’s Landing. Notice the wood-carved hawk that is Jonathan’s handiwork.

paddling towards the Gulf of Mexico.  However, our first major storm

of the season hit yesterday, the day after he left.  Winds gusted to 50 or 60 mph, and snow was blizzard-like.  One caring and supportive local, Jonathan Lauten, set out to find Rod and make sure he was okay.  He found him across the river below Jefferson City, but was not able to make contact.  We learned that Rod was hunkered down in his tent, warm and dry.

Rod laying low in a miserably cold, windy, and snowy storm. -by Jonathan Lauten
Rod laying low in a miserably cold, very windy, and snowy storm (you can see the wind plowing into the side of his tent). (photo by Jonathan Lauten)

Jonathan’s comment from Facebook:

I found him, but I couldn’t get to him!
This pic was taken from a bluff across the river 4:00 12/20/12.
Of course, it was hard to pick him out amongst all those other campers on the Missouri River in a blizzard with 50 mph winds…

Here is a post from Rod yesterday morning, much to our relief:

Dec. 20, 10am – Currently hunkered down in my tent on a sandbar near Jefferson City, Missouri. Outside: blowing snow, sustained winds of 35-40 mph with gusts of 50 mph or more. Unable to keep tent and tent fly anchored. I’ve arranged heaviest gear on windy side of tent to act as a buffer. I’m warm and dry. No paddling today. Expected low tonight: 5F with windchill. Thanks to Steve Schnarr, Gary Leabman, Robin Kalthoff and Jessica Giard for checking on me via phone. Still smiling!

Great meeting Rod and spending some time together.  I think I speak for lots of other folks who met him as well.

Rod and me -photo by Jonathan Lauten
Rod and me (photo by Jonathan Lauten)

You can read posts and watch videos from his trip thus far, and track his current progress on his FB page: “Rod Wellington.”

Happy paddling!

SPOT Rocks

I applied to be a SPOT ambassador some time ago and received a response yesterday, December 19.  They have offered a pretty sweet deal, I think.

First company sponsorship (thanks SPOT)

Thank you, Liana, for not blowing me off.  You are my first “big company” sponsorship (if a promo deal can be considered a sponsorship).  I look forward to carrying your product on board.

Here is the message I received.  Just need to fill out the paperwork.   YES!

Hello Janet –

 Thank you for completing the SPOT Brand Ambassador Form.  We have thoroughly reviewed your request and responded to you as promptly as possible.  We feel you are offering a unique opportunity to showcase SPOT. Therefore, we are offering you an exclusive SPOT offer. Attached please find a form which will allow you to purchase a SPOT, plus one year of basic service and tracking for $99 (typically a $250 value).

 Once your form is completed, you will need to send it to Tom Babb via fax at 985.335.1790 or email to Thomas.Babb@FindMeSPOT.com.

 Liana Narcisse

Marketing Coordinator

Globalstar