2003 World Record Set:
18 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes!
Mississippi River Challenge for
- May 10, 2003 6 AM to May 28, 10:51 AM 2003-
A 2,348 Mile Marathon to Support a Marathon of Research!
May 19, Monday
arrived Burlington, Iowa 05h45. Bob had cold cereal, coffee and
fruit. Clark ate cereal and Cheetos (aka The Breakfast of Champions).
Bob hit a
buoy while paddling last night; he now has a buoy sticker on his
side of the boat near his name.
even though it is early (60s). The sun and sky are presently hidden
by a layer of dense clouds; clouds which will surely be burned
away by the sun before too long, making for a very hot day of
paddling on the Big Muddy.
Bob & Clark
left at 06h35. We will see them next at Nauvoo, IL.
Looks like the team is close to the southern border of Iowa ... the next state west of them is Missouri. Illinois will remain to the east of them for quite some time. Please see our Route Map to get a the big picture of the Mississippi River....
KHQA (Keokuk, IL) just finished a TV interview with Bob &
Clark at the boat landing in Nauvoo, IL. They arrived at 11h30,
had a quick lunch, and left at 11h55. We'll see them again
at Canton, MO
Dena Kurt... who paddled with Clark and Bob yesterday....
I'm kind of surprised Bob could not successfully boss Clark
around either :-) (not):
Mary - Just a note to let you know how great the mississippichallenge
website is! Have enjoyed reading the log - your notes on Amanda
and Noah were a treat - and living the race vicarously by
following Bob and Clark's progress throughout the day is so
much better than hearing about it all after the fact.
paddle with Bob and Clark from Dubuque IA (Lock & Damn #11)
to Bellevue IA (Lock & Damn #12). First time I've paddled
that stetch with calm water! The weather Goddess was smiling
on the guys that day - knows their doing it for a good cause.
looks pretty good, from what little my partner and I could
tell. He has a sunburned nose that is healing, and seems to
be maintaining his sense of humor. Bob took a break for some
reason, and Clark gunned it - got the boat running over 7
mph, with Bob chastising him the whole time, and telling him
to slow down. Clark shared info on all the hi-teck goodies,
and kept a running commentary going on boat speed. They were
moving at a good clip the whole stretch.
for the opportunity to share in the total experience via the
From Dana Hanson, earlier today:
at 10:45 AM The land crew is waiting for the paddlers at Inspiration
Point in Nauvoo, Illinois, State Park (near the city of Nauvoo,
for those following on maps). Two years ago when the paddlers landed,
they were exhausted from fighting high winds. Today, however, it's
beautiful with no wind. The river is still foggy, so they can barely
see the other side. When the sun comes out, however, it'll get
hot and probably humid. That thought prompted Stan to quickly
add "ice" to their grocery list -- with extra ice for Bob & Clark.
For those planning
to attend the St. Louis Arch stop, they are currently about 200
river miles from St. Louis. As mentioned previously, doubtful they'll
be here for 10am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. :-( But still about
150 miles ahead of world record pace!
called at 6:30pm. Their next meeting spot will be Canton, Missouri.
However, he had one incredible story for today's big event(s). The
paddlers finished their interview at Nauvoo State Park with representatives
of Keokuk's CBS Channel 2. Then Clark and Bob got into their canoe
and headed off shore. Made for some nice, posed shots. Or so the
land crew thought. Bob & Clark, however, had something different
in mind. They paddled thru the fog and right out of sight! When
they didn't return, the support personnel thought something fishy
was happening. Nobody knew if they had water or food, and the portage
wheels were still on the bank. Oooooh boy... The support crew knew
they'd have to rush to meet them somewhere to check things out.
crew zipped down 16 miles or so to the next lock and dam with the
portage wheels and all the other supplies. When the paddlers got
to the lock, there were three barges waiting to lock thru. It would
mean a minimum of an hour's delay. As it turns out, one of
the barge captains said he hated to be part of any loss of time
while trying for a world record, so he told Clark & Bob to go ahead
of him. The lockmaster said it was fine by him - it was the barge's
call. Then the other barge captain said that Bob & Clark had been
chasing his barge for 27 miles and he just couldn't shake them,
so they might as well go ahead of that barge, too! (I never head
what was going on with the third barge -- maybe it was already into
the lock when the Kruger Cruiser arrived.) Needless to say, valuable
time could have been lost either waiting to lock thru or portaging.
a thank you, three t-shirts were given to the lockmaster. He kept
only one -- one he threw to the captain of the first barge as it
passed thru the lock, and another he threw to the captain of the
called 6:05 PM CST, just got done with Lock and Dam 20... told me
the barge/tugboat story too, thanks for writing about that Dana!
Clark said it was hot today but cooling quickly. I told him a massive
cold front is coming in through the midwest, and they are saying
there may be thunderstorms, even hail in some places. He said it
was lightly raining then, which was fine, and they were planning
to paddle through the night at this time. Thank goodness Stan is
always nearby with his camper if the the paddlers need to quick
jump off the water and get some sleep in those nasty storms....
said it was glass today - that the pond above Lock and Dam 19 was
glass, for miles, and was great paddling. This was the same area
that they had a horrific storm during our 2001 event, and one paddler
seemed injured for some time after that. Kind of frightening to
remember that. Well, today was about as opposite as it could be
.... Clark said at Lock and Dam 19 they were "lifted" out of the
water by a metal track, then were able to get out of their boat,
pick it up, and portage around it. Hope someone got pictures!
mentioned that he took several photos today from the water of various
things but made sure a sleeping Bob Bradford was always in the corner
of the frame. He can't wait to get them developed for the website
:-). Don't worry Bob, I take bribes.
forget to mention earlier that I spoke to Janet Bradford last night
- the lone woman left on the team now that Angie left! She mentioned
that by the time I called her last night, Angie had called her 3
times already! Guess Angie can not wait to get back! Janet said
she's tired, but happy and everyone is great. What is with these
Bradford's? They seem to actually enjoy this thankless road crew
work :-). Well, I'm glad folks sound tired yet happy, and I'm sure
with Janet nearby they are all enjoying home cooked filling meals.
CAN BLOG! Thanks Mary and hello all. I can't wait to go back to
the river. I have called Mom about four times today. I call every
time the crew is waiting to feed them. While I was there, someone
suggested I send the kids home on a bus rather than take them. Next
time maybe I'll be wise enough to take that ones advise. I guess
I just wasn't liking suggestions at that time.
I just found
out that an article was written in the Flint Journal a few days
ago. A friend saved it for me so I'm not sure of the day. It seems
that the reporter was interested enough to continue coverage on
his own. He must be keeping track by the website because I don't
think Mom (Janet Bradford) has talked to him since the race began.
was an event-filled day for Team Hope. After meeting Bob & Clark
at Burlington, Iowa in the morning, the road crew headed to Nauvoo,
IL. The paddlers had amazingly good weather from Burlington to Nauvoo—warm
and overcast with absolutely no wind. Both Bob and Clark vividly
remember the thunderstorm which forced them to take shelter near
Burlington in the middle of the night during the 2001 event.
& Clark arrived at the boat landing at about the same time as a
reporter from Keokuk, Iowa, who videotaped and interviewed the paddlers.
As the TV camera rolled, Bob & Clark raced away (obviously hamming
it up for the camera by going as fast as they could). We expected
them to return to the boat ramp after the reporter turned off her
camera, as we had some additional food and drinks to give them.
But alas, Bob & Clark paddled away toward Keokuk. We hurriedly packed
and drove to the next Lock (at Keokuk). As it turned out it was
a good thing we did, as there was barge traffic near the Lock which
would have required the canoe to wait a while before getting its
turn in the Lock. Bob & Clark pulled their boat onto a walkway which
had been lowered below the surface of the water only moments before.
As we watched, the walkway started to rise, with Bob, Clark & the
canoe on it! Bob got out and steadied the canoe as the walkway continued
to rise. We gave them their portage wheels, which they put on, and
paddlers and crew (sans Stan, who stayed behind to watch our vehicles
and gear) walked downstream and put in in a riverside park.
road crew hoofed it back to their vehicles at the Lock, and then
went to Canton, MO. We found a boat ramp just below the Lock, and
set about getting a meal ready, and doing various other chores.
I called the Lockmaster on the sat phone, and discovered that there
were three barges preparing to lock through; two headed southbound
and one northbound. When they captains of these vessels heard about
the World Record and the event, they proposed several options for
getting the canoe through the Lock quickly, including a possible
portage around the Lock. In the end, an act of generosity on the
part of two of the tug captains allowed Team Hope to get through
the Lock quickly and get down to the boat ramp, where we had dinner
are presently sitting in a boat ramp below Lock 21. Team Hope just
locked through, and is approaching the boat ramp.
saw our first mosquitoes yesterday. Whereas they were mildly annoying
in Iowa, these Missouri mosquitoes are downright mean! I’ve got
several bites the size of dims on my arms and legs. There are three
moths crawling all over the computer screen as I sit in the minivan