Christening the Boat, Gearing up and Cleaning the River

“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” To them we toast, and ask to celebrate “BLUE MOON.” Then everybody raises their glass filled with champagne or your favorite non-alcoholic beverage and shouts, “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO BLUE MOON.” Everybody takes a sip.

IMG_2094

That is the start of the script for the christening ceremony.  Tomorrow, a.k.a., Easter Sunday, Blue Moon will take her first ride in the Missouri River as the Blue Moon.  For those of you who are not aware, Bob Bellingham of Australia paddled down the Missouri River last summer in the same boat, which was then the Barbara May.  In the spirit of  “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” I have purchased Bob’s boat for my expedition, and she is no stranger to the river.

Bob Bellingham in his Shasta, which is now my Shasta, and my ride down the river.
Bob Bellingham in his Shasta, which is now my Shasta,
and my ride down the river.

The Barbara May brought Bob down the river, from Three Forks to St. Louis, in 89 days.  Ideally, Blue Moon will replicate that schedule so that I arrive in St. Louis on August 1st (give or take a couple of days).  Tomorrow, I will conduct a short ceremony in order to loosely hold on to the tradition of renaming and/or christening a boat.  Those paddling with me, and anyone else interested, are invited to take part.

Today, I hope to apply this blog site address onto the sides of Blue Moon.

IMG_2095

Things are really revving up, gear-wise.  Packages are showing up on my porch, such as the lettering for my web address, my solar panel, compression dry sacks, my sleeping bag, a camera, cleaner for the boat deck, etc.

I spent 3 hours in Batteries + yesterday trying to assemble an appropriate electronic system to charge my laptop from the roll-up solar panel.  Solar panels do not advertise laptop charging.  Normally, they are geared for only the smaller electronic appliances, i.e., iPhone, iPad, camera, or GPS.  After yesterday,  I’m ready to teach a Physics lesson for sure.

I had to get a 12V battery, which I learned, come in a wide variety of sizes and corresponding weights.  I need a battery that will not be too big, but that will charge my laptop up in a reasonable amount of time and/or charging sessions.  I won’t go into any details because my brain is still tired from yesterday’s numerous calculations.  Big thanks to Herb for patiently assisting me in assembling a system!  And thanks to Chad, Batteries+ store owner, who gave me a business account, which results in a small discount on all of the accessories I bought…

IMG_2083

for my roll-up solar charger.  Big thanks to Julia at PowerFilmSolar for the discount, too.

R14Accessories

One of the employees at Batteries+ suggested a wind turbine for the boat.  Holy cow, that’s brilliant!  I’m sure I’ll be thinking a lot about that on those windy days on the lakes!

I have been dehydrating lots of food and vacuum sealing small packages.  Why have I not been doing this for the last 30 years?  The beef jerky is out of this world!  And, the bananas, green apples, pineapple, etc. are all soooo delicious! I’ve also dried tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and spaghetti sauce.  Yep, spaghetti sauce.  Starting on broccoli today.  These veggies will be wonderful to throw into my side dish pasta meals.

Dried-Tomatoes-mushrooms
Naturally dried tomatoes and mushrooms

I now have my tent, sleeping bag, stove, Thermarest, paddling gear, under layers, neoprene boots and shoes, Teva sandals, portable hard drive, three cameras, an iPhone, a laptop (which I’ve owned for a long time and hope it performs), maps, drybags, compression dry bags, compass, whistle, wheeleez for portaging, and a lot of little items that I had to pick up as I walked through Walt’s Wilderness store.  Little things like a first-aid kit, meal kit, coffee french-press with cup set, moleskin, caribiners, and a wide-mouth water bottle for my alfalfa sprouts.  I even picked up my one and only packaged freeze-dried meal:  camp eggs!  I love eggs and will need to cook up this package for some special occasion, which could be anything, like one full day with zero wind!!  I may be missing my eggs on this trip.

IMG_2098

I will test my gear this week-end when I go to Missouri River Relief’s MO River clean-up in St. Charles.  Seven years have passed since I started back to school and have not had an opportunity to go to a river clean-up since.  These clean-up events are a must-do activity for everyone, ESPECIALLY, river communities.  The sense of accomplishment, camaraderie, and contribution to society cannot be fully appreciated until you take part in one.  I am so looking forward to being with fellow river stewards, cleaning up the trash, and trying out the gear that I will become one with for the next 3 and 1/2 months.  I definitely have to make sure that French Press works.  Gotta have my cup of Joe to get my day on track!

Confluence Clean-Up in 2012.  Jeannie Kuntz massages the crew (She'll be driving to Montana with me and my daughter Haley. :))
Confluence Clean-Up in 2012. Jeannie Kuntz massages the crew after a long day. (Jeannie will be driving to Montana with my daughter Haley and me. :))
St. Charles Clean-up in 2011
River Warriors
St. Charles Clean-up in 2011

poster

Stay tuned for an upcoming post in which I will share with you the red-hot heart-warming LoveYourBigMuddy Blues Benefit from last Wednesday, March 27.

Live fast ~ Paddle slow

See you on the river!

Sponsorship – Near and Far

IMG_1920

logo_swift

patagonia-logo

SPOT_logo_2c_sm_tag_URL_ol

Again, I would like to thank Eddyline Kayaks-Swift Paddles, SPOT  and Patagonia for their in-kind donations to LoveYourBigMuddy Expedition.  And, thanks to Black Truck Pictures and Jim Karpowicz for producing the promo video for my GoFundMe page.

I have not yet had a chance to write about the companies who have recently begun sponsoring my expedition.  I will admit that I began to give up on some of the larger companies because they were not responding to my emails.  Companies such as Cascade Designs regarding MSR & Thermarest, Kokatat, PowerFilms, Garmin, and GoPro, to name a few.

Patience is a must as I realize they have hundreds of requests just like mine.  So, I  nudge them, but try not to annoy.  Kokatat, however, has recently brought me on board with sponsorship.  Kokatat is important to me not only because of their high quality gear, but because their home base is in Arcata, a small town on the north coast of California, and home to the first college I attended fresh out of high school (yes, that would be in 1974).

logo_kokatat

In the meantime, I determined to stop by and speak to the owners and/or managers of our local outdoor sports businesses to see if they would share in the wisdom that my proposal for support is a win-win deal for both of us.

I am happy to announce that all of our home-town businesses have come on board with in-kind donations, although I have not yet met with Alpine Shop.  We have an appointment to meet next week.

Having support from local businesses is important to me.  We should all be supporting each other at the grass-roots level.

trib_klunk

Carl Kimbel of Klunk Bicycles, and his assistant Josh, is constructing a used road (on & off) bike for me to use in the event I will be riding alongside frozen waterways, which is anticipated.  From the Tribune article (click on photo above), Kimbel said the shop’s main appeal is its selection of used bikes. “We bring old bikes back to life,” he said.

I am very grateful for Carl’s bike (loan) donation, and I love his “grass-roots” business.

So, three cheers to Walt’s

Copy of waltlogowebidea23

CycleXtreme

cxlogo

Tryathletics

Tryathletics-editlogo

and Klunk Bicycles !!!

Kokatat, premier technical paddling apparel and accessories, is offering me their sponsorship deal of 30% off wholesale.  I have been waiting “patiently” for their response as I really wanted their gear for my trip.  I will purchase, using my grassroots sponsorship donations (thank you all!), dry suit bibs with socks, a paddling jacket-shirt-pants-shorts, neoprene mitts and gloves and shoes.  Oh, and a personal flotation device (PFD).  My paddling clothing supply should be complete, except for some knee high neoprene boots, ideal for hopping out in swift water sharp turns obstructed by barbed-wire or sheet metal fencing.  That is, only if this section on The Red Rock River is not frozen over.

(Photo courtesy of Rod Wellington at www.ZeroEmissionsExpeditions.com)
Red Rock River
(Photo courtesy of Rod Wellington at http://www.zeroemissionsexpeditions.com/

I am now looking at acquiring essentials such as a tent (MSR 2P Hubba Hubba), down sleeping bag, stove, Thermarest pad, GPS device, roll-up solar charger,  TEVA sandals, and a GoPro camera.

And, for documenting my trip in preparation for books and video documentary publishing, I have one significant wish-list item:  a MacBookPro laptop.

Patience is a virtue.

Bob_LakeOahe
Bob Bellingham’s MSR Hubba Hubba tent, complete with
gorgeous sunset on Oahe Lake.
Hey, is that sunset included?  I’ll take two, please!

If you would like to donate to my expedition, please visit my Donations Opportunities page on this blog, or my GoFundMe page online at

LoveYourBigMuddyExpedition 4 Education

Your support is sincerely and greatly appreciated.

Live fast ~ Paddle slow

See you on the river.

Love your Big Muddy!

NewStickers_crop