July 1, 2005 9:00pm
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Yesterday, we traveled from just south of Port of St. Louis at mile marker168 to mile marker 123 at Ste. Genevieve. On the way we stopped at Herculaneum, MO. We stopped there, because we needed water and the entire normal John wanted to get a breakfast biscuit routine. BUT Herculaneum would be a town where we could flex our powerful muscles. See, Herky was originally named after the original Herky, which was after Hercules. Hercules was known for strength and courage in roman mythology. We had to visit Herculaneum. Herky is what locals affectionately call their town.
The town showered us with hospitality and kindness. They shared with us some Herky paraphernalia and the full town history. We met the mayor and he gave the impression that he would give the shirt off his back if we needed it. He had seen the television coverage of our trip and saluted our efforts. It was really touching to hear that others have appreciation for our trip. I can hear the Audubon echo of “healthy river, healthy communities”.
Later Due to inclement weather we stopped and tarped through lightning and a (thankfully) cooling rain. Afterwards as the last of the thunder cleared out we took a short walk up the muddy beach, which led to some impromptu playing in the mud. Sure, we had mud-throwing competition, but the most challenging game was “get the sandals out of the mud”. A very tactful game with serious consequences.
Last night we camped on the island across the river from Ste. Genevieve. We were in the middle of an extensive sand beach. I took a 360degree picture of it but surely my camera cannot capture the scenery the same way I will remember it. As the water levels drop through the summer the islands grow larger and larger. The dropping water makes such beaches have an alien effect on my senses by contouring the sand and mud into uniform design. This particular beach is very large and open with slight slope. I feel as if I am merely standing on an even landscape with little change or movement. This slice in time is in great contrast to the continual changing nature of this area and whole river landscape, but for now it feels still.