Episode two brings you a more subdued event even though it is filled with pirates on the Missouri river. Oct 6th brought the first annual O-Mo Pirate Paddle, after the June Ramble was such a success we just had to have another paddler to meet up with our group of crazy paddlers and paddlers from all up and down the Missouri. We put in at Mari-Osa Access just outside of Jefferson City on the Osage river where we would paddle 9 miles to the confluence of the Missouri river and continue on to Chamois, one of our favorite river towns. But, about a mile and a half into our float we encountered 40+ MPH winds, 2 to 3 foot waves and a downpour of rain. Paddling like hell to get over to the shoreline we tried to find roots, mud bars or anything we could grab to ride out the storm. Once the wind died down we decided we should rethink our distance. We decided to head back up and load our boats and boards and head to Bonnetts Mill access where we would only have about 12 miles to paddle. Ahhhh, we were finally on the river and ready to relax, oddly the paddle gods gave us a window of beautiful weather and temps. This allowed us to do some “piraty” things.
Just like the Ramble, The Pirate paddle is the brainchild of Shane Perrin, with the help of his family and friends. He wanted to help the small river town of Chamois Missouri where flooding has damaged their riverfront ballpark and park. Since the ramble in June we have all grown to love the town of Chamois, the locals are extremely welcoming and they even join in on the festivities, including Mayor Elise Brochu. The Heystack, the local restaurant takes care of feeding us and giving us a place to gather after the paddle.
The day on the river would finally start around 2 pm after we moved to a different access. After we put back in and started to paddle, a short distance down the Osage River it would open up in flow out into our beloved Missouri river. A lot of people think the Missouri River is a muddy and dirty river full of barge traffic but its what you see between the bridges of the river that people will never understand until you actually paddle the Missouri River. Yes, it is muddy, it’s the “Muddy Mo” and yes, there are barges but you learn to move out of the way and watch these large boats head up and down the river. What some people don’t see is the serene waters with a moderate current that make a lazy day on the river even lazier because all you have to do is float. Every once in a while huge cliffs will tower above the water and the forests and woods make you understand the beauty this river offers.
Once we arrived back at Chamois park we were greeted by some locals and some of our friends that decided to stay off the river after the storms. Though it is always a bummer that a float trip is over it feels pretty good to get back to camp and get dry and just relax with our friends and river family. This also allowed for some shenanigans and fun. The Pirate Paddle was not as big as the Mo River Ramble, it was still a good turn out considering the weather was not on our side. We still had a blast enjoying the riverfront and friendship and laughter.
Even though you were probably expecting crazy shenanigans and crazy photos, this is still our paddle family in our natural habitat, some even in normal pirate attire. Pirate puppies roamed the park and greeting us with love and licks. At least we kept Shane from humping a carebear this trip.
This is what we do when we don’t have to “Adult”, this is our lives, we love our rivers and lakes and we love the people who live on or along these rivers and lakes. Though we only had a couple paddleboards on this trip we still all had one thing in common, “River”. We might look like a bunch of river partiers and we do have a great time on the river our main reasons for paddling these rivers is to promote them, love them, enjoy them and leave them just a little bit better than when we put on them. Just like most bigger rivers, they are the lifeblood of the communities up and down them and Chamois is no different. They rely on the industries that use the river as a highway. They also rely on the paddlers and boaters that visit them. The history of these towns is mind-blowing. Until you actually drive into one of these downtowns you don’t get the full beauty they offer. Some towns are preserved almost like time stood still and some are modern and some are pretty creepy “not in a bad way” it just makes you think how life was back in the days where all these towns were bustling with traders and explorers and river traffic.
We plan on making the Mo River Ramble and the O-MO Pirate paddle an annual event because we love these ” River Angels” and it is impossible to leave without missing Chamois before you even leave town. All good things come to and end until the next time.
I myself think I can speak for every paddler this weekend by saying thank you to The Heystack, Mayor Brochu and the entire city of Chamois for your hospitality and love for this event and your love for the river you live on. We can’t wait to come back.