submitted by WizardMama to Coronaviruslouisiana [link] [comments]
Made by Jeff Asher of the Times-Picayune
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QuestionsWhat's the plan if we run out of space, is the plan to shift them to Morial?
First off, we are going to make sure that doesn't happen that we don't run into a situation where we cannot provide healthcare. We still have 250 beds at the Morial Convention Center with staffing for 60 with 28 beds currently being filled. We can expand to 60 more beds quickly. Further, much of the investments we made early on created new permanent surge capacity at various hospitals around the state. So we are in better shape than we were before.
Frankly, my bigger concern is not about beds, but about staffing. We believe we will be able to make the adjustments necessary and open the surge units, but the bigger challenge is around staffing. It is bigger this time because the surge we are seeing is happening in multiple parts of the country at one time. Hard to draw upon out-of-state staff because of those areas and not willing to give them up because they need them too. We discussed it with the VP last week after a phone email with hospital staff prior. Submitted a request through FEMA and it is currently pending. Looking to us the existing footprints of our hospitals, because it is easier to solve the staffing challenges than open up a new facility that isn't part of the existing footprint. No plan to currently create new facilities, but are working to fill staffing shortages.
How much did you request from the FEMA
As best as I can recall it was 300 Request to FEMA ranged from phlebotomists, ICU nurses, respiratory therapists, and so forth. I will get you the exact information.
Some people in Acadiana and Lafayette, in particular, feel the local agencies and parish governments are not doing their parts to enforce the mandates. What can we do on the state level to drive home how important it is to follow the mandates
When you watch Fauci or Birx speak and see what is coming out the CDC, that speak to you about the importance of these mitigations measures and you accompany it with the numbers we are seeing in Louisiana right now, not just cases but hospitalizations and deaths, you would hope the people would be responsible enough, take that into consideration, and they will comply because they understand it is important for those who are valuable, to help the medical community. Even if for some strange reason that is totally incomprehensible that you don't care about COVID you should care about there being capacity in the hospital if you get into a car accident or a family member has a stroke, you want that care to be available. We just need people to focus on the task at hand, do their part, be good neighbors. It is not that we won't force these things but if the people of Louisiana are going to make us enforce all of this we will not be successful. There are 4.6 million people in Louisiana, 10s of 1,000s of businesses if the people of Louisiana are going to sit back and say we will make you enforce every part of this we are doomed. As I mentioned the vast majority of businesses and people are being responsible but there are still too many that are not. So I am directing these comments to those individuals. IF you want to be mad at me, and disagree with me be mad and disagree but do so with a mask when you are outside of your house.
Where do you think the deliberate misinformation campaign is coming from?
I do not know. I am not personally investigating it. I am doing what I can to make sure no one attaches any credibility to it. This not just happening in Louisiana. This is happening in all of the other states that are having this tremendous resurgence. No one is out there "cooking the books". One thing we would do, if it was safe to do, is open our hospitals up so they could see with their own eyes the people who are fighting for their lives. They would know this is not a made-up number. This is grossly negligent and irresponsible. I am asking people not to do it and for others not to believe it.
Are you surprised that bars are the top location for an outbreak of COVID
I cannot say I'm surprised, bars were one of the last things opened because we knew the environment is not the easiest to control so people do things safely. It's just the nature of that establishment. Many people go to a bar to stay for several hours, have multiple drinks, and relax their inhibitions. They may have one mindset going in and another coming out. Then there is loud music and so you need to speak louder and release more particles if you happen to have COVID19. Then if you're listening you tend to get closer to hear than you should be. We were hopeful restrictions would work, but for the vast majority of bars, it proved to be too much. This is not just here in Louisiana. It is a WH Taskforce recommendation for our state and other states with high rates of COVID-19. It is also a worldwide recommendation. Once South Korea came out of its lockdown they had to shut down every bar in Seoul because they had a similar experience.
With staffing being an issue is the Morial Convention center a viable option as a field hospital
Dr. Henry Kaufman, chief medical officer at Our Lady of Lourdes: We have physical space, we have beds that are used during the day for outpatient surges. Those can be converted into hospital rooms. We have beds that are typically used for other purposes, and those have been converted to rooms. However, as we see an increasing number of transferrable cases in the community we see our nurses become infected. When a nurse becomes infected the quickest they return to work is 10 days. As a result, there is a huge pool of nurses who are currently out right now. This puts a strain on other nurses and staff in the hospital. So far it is working out, but our nurses are tired. The problem is not needing physical space, it is having enough people in our community to staff those beds to keep our nurses healthy. One way you can prevent yourself from getting COVID is to stay active and healthy, well-rested, and that your immune system is working well. Nurses, physicians, and staff are tired and not taking care of themselves as well as they need. This is a vicious cycle. Everyone is looking for staff right now. We are not at the point of reaching out to non-traditional areas for staffing. We have disucssed calling in retired nurses or those who have moved to other careers who still hold their licenses who could help.
Have you thought of reaching out of state for staffing?
Dr. Henry Kaufman, chief medical officer at Our Lady of Lourdes: We have contacted local staffing agencies, not many people available, anyone who is employable is employed. Everyone across the country is seeking nursing right now. Yes, we have considered that.
Governor John Bel Edwards
I've had requests to take national guard soldiers in a medical unit and have them available at the hospitals. But guess where the national guard soldiers in our medical unit work? In our hospitals. So I would be pulling them from one hospital to send them to another hospital around the state. The first thing we did was put out an EMAC request to all other states to see if they had anyone they could offer to address what we need. Exactly zero states offered any staffing. So then you start looking at staffing contractors and we are working that angle now. That is proving to be difficult as well, which is why we continue to work with FEMA on staffing.
In regards to the Morial Convention Center, remember that facility is for the less acute patients to allow hospitals to free up space sooner than they would. So once a patient reaches that level of care where they don't need an acute bed, but can't go home, they can go to the Morial Convention Center for care. Having hospitals sending their less severe patients to the convention center is something we are considering.
With the testing shortage issue in terms of a turnaround..
I just want to be clear we are doing an extraordinary amount of tests, but it is not a shortage of collection kits. There are reagent issues in the lab that are contributed to longer turnaround times, as well as the sure volume of tests. So of all the tests, we reported today 65% were within the last week. 30% were from the week before. That gives you an idea of the percentage of tests. This greatly impacts our ability to fight COVID-19. If someone waits 7-10 days to find out they are positive and did not curtail their activities, we know they are out there spreading that disease. Plus if it takes too long to get a test result back the contact tracing is too hard. So the turnaround time at the labs is the current challenge, not the testing supplies itself.
with turnaround times does this challenge testing congregate settings
In congregate settings, we are testing 100% of residents and staff every 2 weeks. We are seeing some delays in getting those results back. Anytime you see that it interferes with our ability to quickly get on top of the situation and appropriately quarantining patients. It is also true for the staff member who goes home at night and interacts with their family.
Over the next approx 8-12 weeks it is the goal of the Federal Government to send a rapid point of care tests to every nursing home. We are starting to see those machines arrive in small numbers this week and that will continue. That way tests are administered with results being known within 24 hours. It sounds too good to be true, so we need to make sure the machines come and we have all the testing materials that are needed.
Why are casinos not facing additional restrictions?
I'm not going to tell you we haven't experienced any issues at casinos but I can say they have been few in number and much more easily removed because you only have only a small number of them operating. Plus it is the most regulated industry in Louisiana so if you go in there and tell them a problem the corrections get made. We know they have been very responsive to any remedial measures we have told them to take. That is why they are open. We believe they can safely operate at the level of occupancy we have described. We want as much of our economy opened as possible consistent with public safety and the health of our people. Where we can operate a business safely we want to do that. Under the limitations, we currently have in place with casinos they can operate safely.
Closing RemarksWe have flattened the curve before and we can do it once again. We can do it without going back to Phase 1. But everyone must do their part. So if you want the economy open then we must all do our part. Please wear a face covering. Social distance. Stay home when you are sick. Wash your hands often. Watch out for the most valuable. The safest place you can be is at home. Lift one another upon prayer and focus on our blessings. If nothing else let's be thankful for our healthcare workers. Everyone has a healthy and safe weekend. God bless.
👉 NEXT PRESS CONFERENCES Will be Tuesday and Thursday next week at the Capital. If there is a reason to meet at other times, whether related to weather or COVID19, I will let you know.
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|How do avoid the larger river traffic (barges, ships, etc..) that might not be looking out for something as small as a kayak? Any close encounters?||The barges stay in their marked channel well and are not a huge problem. I was in a few large pools this last weekend when everybody took out their motor boats. A bunch of drunks in speedboats are scarier to me. I had a guy Sunday come within a few feet of me. I almost threw my paddle at him.|
|When I was passing through Burlington Iowa 2 boats collided a few miles down from where I was camping. 4 people died and I have been much more cautious since then.|
|I had a barge sneak up on me from behind near the Wisconsin, Illinois border. I about pooped my self when it blew it's horn at me. Stupid Iowa NPR had a segment called "steamboat stories" that had that sound every time it started and would send shivers up my spine.|
|Not that I'd be pulling rank with a barge, but don't you technically have the right of way being that you have no motor? At least sail boats always have the right of way.||Barges stay in their channel that is well marked by bouys. I might have the right of way but that means nothing if they can't see me.|
|Simple question- Why are you doing this? Also, any pics to share?||Generic answer I give - "Because life is short and I wouldn't want to live it without having paddled the Mississippi"|
|Personal answer - "I need to get back to nature to figure out some stuff after Iraq"|
|Reason Now - "I want to come back next year and help a wounded warrior to become the first paraplegic to paddle the entire river. The amount of freedom I feel everyday is breath taking and I want to share it with someone who deserves it"|
|*edit - I am uploading an album to imgur now.|
|I want to come back next year and help a wounded warrior to become the first paraplegic to paddle the entire river. Please let us know when you get to the planning phase of this. I'll gladly kick in some money towards it.||First thing when I get back. This is my new biggest priority besides not dying on the river.|
|Personal answer - "I need to get back to nature to figure out some stuff after Iraq" If you find yourself in New Orleans next Saturday, I will buy the booze.||I will be there in 4 weeks.|
|The first answer is good enough for me, but each one after gets better and better. Best of luck to you :o)||The ups is that I go as far as I want everyday, stop when I want and have time to really discover myself. I also can sing as loud as I want to a Kesha or Pink song on the radio while I am paddling.|
|Another question if you will? - What are the ups and downs to doing this solo? (Note: Solo, not alone)||The downside is it is very lonely. When I first started out I would not see people for days and was alone which was ok and I felt fine. Now that I am somewhere where I see people all the time I feel lonely. Every person I meet asks me the same 3 or 4 questions.|
|Where do you jerk off?||In my tent, the hammock makes it hard to maneuver.|
|When will you pass through Memphis? I ||In about 8 days.|
|1) What are the expected total costs (gear included)?||1) The boat and gear ran me about 2000 dollars. 400 dollars for the ticket to Minneapolis, 300 to the guy who took me to Itasca. Then about 20 dollars per day I was on the river.|
|If you ever need a ride from Minneapolis to Itasca again, please just come to /twincitiessocial or PM me. $300 is ridiculous and I know that we could find someone to tote you up there for much less.||I gave him 300$ because while I was waiting to go up I was bumming around the Mall of America, killing time. A cute girl asked me if I wanted to go to a casino and I said yes, because I love buffets and knew I could eat whatever I wanted. Waiting for the bus back to the mall so I could catch the shuttle back to my hotel I put 20 dollars in the Ghostbusters slot. I won 600 dollars. I don't really gamble and so I bought a nice hat and some nicer sunglasses for my trip. The guy who gave me a ride would have done it for free but I felt he deserved more and so gave him half of my winnings.|
|Is your name Huck or Jim?||I am glad you did not write out Jim's name like Mark Twain did.|
|Would that even be possible? You'd exert so much energy per mile compared to going downstream...||Everything from Minneapolis to St. Louis is flat because of the 29 locks and dams. It makes the river more like a staircase than a slope.|
|I noticed there was a picture of you inside a lock. Do they actually let a tiny boat like yours through the locks? Do they open and close the locks just for your little kayak?||It seems a bit excessive but they send me through all by myself. The people at the locks are the only people I regularly talk to and are usually cool guys. In the locks with the bigger drops it feels like Star Wars with the giant gates opening.|
|But I mean you're going against the current regardless. Do kayaks skim the water so it wouldn't be too difficult? I guess I imagine paddling downstream somewhat like tubing down a river. Am I wrong?||Back when the river was small and shallow there are sections that are class 2 rapids that would be very very difficult to paddle upstream. Also Saulk Rapids a couple of days north of Minneapolis would be almost impossible to paddle through. I think a rowing skiff would work best on most of it.|
|Pool 26 represent. FYI, St. Louis's sewer company, MSD, dumps raw sewage into the Mississippi. Hows the water quality now that you've come to our fine city?||It has been nasty since Minneapolis. Everybody's poo goes into the river.|
|How do you get on reddit?||I am at a hotel today. I have a smartphone and reddit is fun on it.|
|1) how are you going to paddle to pensacola? is it safe to take your boat through the gulf?||1) I plan on paddling the inter coastal most of the way from the mouth to Pensacola, my boat is very stable and can handle the gulf if I need it to.|
|2) do you like living in pensacola? do you consider it part of the deep south?||2) I do not like living in Pensacola, I plan on moving back to SLC. Pensacola is a great place to visit but not so much to live in, and yes it is very deep South.|
|Do you stop and visit some places you pass? If so, did you stop in the quad cities? (that's my hometown)||I paddled through the quad cities at night. Your hometown is probably the most polluted area on the Mississippi. The water smelled like paint. I broke my paddle in the quad cities and was not very happy there.|
|How did you break your paddle?||Going through the last lock in the quad cities I had to pee very bad. There is a rocky area just left of the locks when you exit. A lock can take 30 minutes and I had to go really bad. When I was paddling into that rocky area my paddle hit a rock and the blade broke.|
|Twin cities resident here! Did you see all the dogs along the shore chasing balls and having a merry time just before passing Fort Snelling?||I did. They were on my left as I paddled by. Dogs love to come to the banks and bark at me. *edit - I keep a detailed journal while I am out here but you just reminded me of something I might have never remembered had you not asked. Thanks.|
|Had I been there that day this may have greeted you. Link to imgur.com I do have a serious question though: how has gear weight played a part in your selection of gear? How much does all of your gear weigh sans kayak? How often do you stop to resupply food and how much food and water do you carry with you?||I do not have to worry about weight like I do when I backpack. My kayak alone weighs around 65 pounds. My gear is probably around 45 pounds now and I have about 15 pounds of food. I carry usually a weeks supply of food that is mostly mac and cheese and stovetop stuffing for dinner with pop tarts and candy bars for the day. Water is more difficult than food. I have a 10 liter MSR water bag and a 4 liter platypus bag. I have not been able to filter or treat my water since Minneapolis, and usually fill it up with a hose.|
|Do you not have a good enough filter & treatment for the water or just don't trust it given the water quality?||You can't filter water from an oil slick.|
|So yeah, antiseptic. Hand sanitizer would be cheap and relatively light.||I worked in Yellowstone after college at the Snow Lodge. Fly fishing is an art I will never master. If you ever have a chance to go out there and fish the Snake River or the Yellowstone River, take it. I am glad your eye is ok now.|
|I have plenty of other questions as well: when it's time to sleep do you simply pull off and sleep on shore? I know there has been some torrential rain lately, how has this effected your trip? Any weather situations that have forced you to stop for the day/had you scared shitless?||When I was crossing Lake Cass it began sleeting on my and the winds were causing 3 foot waves. I fell in. I had a bag with fleece pants a fleece jacket and a pak-towel in case of this. After I got into dry clothes I paddled upriver to a lodge I saw earlier. I went into the shower and could not touch the water with my hands without intense pain. Without having been prepared I could have died that day, but luckily I didn't.|
|I usually just find an island on the river and set up there.|
|Do you have it setup so things stay in the kayak if it tips?||Yes everything is strapped down and in waterproof bags.|
|What is this monkey swing you speak of?||I take one arm and grab a tree branch then swing way back so my poo does not hit my feet. I call it the Monkey Swing because I feel like a monkey swinging from branch to branch.|
|How was La Crosse? Did you stop there by any chance?||I did. A beautiful girl at the awesome river park recommended a pizza place and I ate four very large slices. La Crosse was a beautiful town with a great river front.|
|What did you do with your boat while you went to get the pizza?||The rocks up to the park are pretty steep and it was such a nice clean place I felt like it was safe there.|
|Awesome! It's my hometown. (I'm in Ohio right now for school.) I'm glad you enjoyed it! What pizza place was it, do you recall? Good luck on the rest of your journey, sir!||It was across from a bar called the library.|
|Beautiful women, recommending pizza? I must go to this place.||She had just come from a food co-op also.|
|Australian cricket legend and World War II fighter pilot Keith Miller put things into perspective when he was asked how he handled the pressure of international cricket. His reply: "Pressure? A Messerschmitt up your arse is pressure. Playing cricket is not." My question: Does your currrent undertaking feel like a walk in the park compared to your time in Iraq? Do you think that this challenge is made (or feels) easier in some way by the experiences you made during your service?||Apples and Oranges. We relied on each other a ton over there and it was a shared experience. I feel that my time in the service gave me the confidence to try to achieve something that might seem impossible.|
|Are you going through the locks when you come to them? Or are you going around on foot?||I am going through the locks. I pull a little cord right before them that signals the lockmaster and they put me through just like a barge. I sometimes have to wait upwards of an hour and a half for the barges to go through first. Before Minneapolis I would have to carry my boat around the dams, sometimes up to a mile.|
|How do you carry the kayak? I've found them a lot harder to portage than canoes.||I usually take 2 trips. First I carry all my gear then I use a handle on the side of my kayak to carry it.|
|Once you conquer the Mississippi what will be your next adventure?||I want to come back and help a paraplegic be the first to paddle the entire river. I have had this on my mind for the last month and I think it could be done. The biggest obstacle is portaging around all the dams in Minnesota.|
|Someday I would like to ride a bike from Coney Island, NY to Chicago then take route 66 to LA. Then I will have done my personal triple crown. Walk up the country, float down then peddle across.|
|Are you worried about how violent the river becomes in Louisiana? That undercurrent is a killer, literally.||Yes I am. 5 people have died on the river within a few miles of me since I have been out here. 4 in Burlington Iowa and one near Hannibal, MO. I stay very near the shore to avoid barges and to be safe. I am very aware that it will be dangerous but will continue anyways.|
|Most people who die on the river do so because they leave their life vests and brains on the dock to make room for more beer.||I have never been or will be on this river without my life vest. I keep a small drybag on my vest with my phone and wallet in case I get separated from my boat.|
|Are you doing your ama from a mobile device on the water or are you taking a break right now?||I am taking the day off. I am at a holliday inn with a business center. I do check reddit every couple of nights from my phone but have to conserve my battery in case I need my phone for an emergency. I stay in a hotel about once every 10 days and this is the second time I took an entire day off. I woke up today and was unable to close my fingers in a fist without a ton of pain and thought it would be a good idea to rest.|
|Where is your kayak while you are in the hotel room? Did you take it in with you?||A marina here is letting me keep it there overnight. Sometimes I hide it among the trees on the shore when I run into town.|
|How much gear have you ditched so far because you overpacked?||Haven't ditched any gear but have lost or broken; solar panel, gps, laptop, gloves, knit hat, kayak paddle and a fleece.|
|What piece of gear do you wish you had that you don't? What piece of gear has surprised you most? What piece of gear has disappointed you most?||I wish I had a spare kayak paddle. My kayak paddle dissapointed me when it broke but the worst piece of gear I had was a Brunton Solar charger. It just straight up did not work even with 12 hours of direct sunlight.|
|Cat can stove?||Cat Can Stove! I don't think anything inflatable could make it down this river because of all the debris.|
|Do you have any plans for future excursions?||I want to do the river again but to act as a guide for a paraplegic and help him/her around the dams and such. It has become clear to me out here that life is better when you stop worrying about yourself and start helping others. If I could share this freedom with someone who might feel confined by their chair then that is a pretty good life.|
|One day I want to ride a bicycle across the country to complete my triple crown. Walk up, paddle down and ride across. I want to touch the South Pole before I die.|
|Ehat do you mean by "walk up"? Can you elaborate?||When I hiked the Appalachian trail I walked up the country from Georgia to Maine.|
|When you camp on the side of the river, do you just do it wherever? did you have to organize/reserve locations, or do you just hobo-style it? any problems with authorities ever?||I usually stay on islands and pull my boat all the way off the water. No one can really see me.|
|What kind of wildlife do you see??||At the start there was an amazing amount of wildlife. My favorite was a small furry wolf that was drinking from the riverside. I have seen a ton of deer, ducks, geese, loons, herons and beavers. I also saw a whooping crane. I have a picture of it.|
|How enormous are the whirlpools? I heard the Mississippi gets massive whirlpools, if so, have you ever gotten stuck in one?||They can be upwards of 20 feet. They can be frustrating because there seems to be no good way to paddle around them without being spun around a bit. The more speed you have when skirting by them the less effect they have.|
|How fast does the Mississippi move? Like, you say you're paddling down it, but could you conceivably just float down it?||From Minneapolis to St. Louis the river is controlled by locks and dams. Usually the wind comes from the South and if I do not paddle it pushes me upstream. The current picks up a ton after St. Louis because there are no more dams and floating becomes an option.|
|Tell us about the stuff you need to figure out about Iraq. What have you been doing since you came back, and why the need for adventure right now?||The weight of being responsible for other people's deaths weighs heavy on my heart. I worked for the company that made the drone I flew for a while until they told me I would have to go to Afghanistan. I went back to school for a bit and waited tables. I knew in my heart that I was an adventurer and the only way to get back to that is to dive in.|
|How polluted is the Mississip?||Outside of the cities it is not too bad. I have been by probably 25 coal power plants and tons of factories. The quad cities treats the river like a dump. The water is polluted beyond belief but local groups keep the shoreline decently clean, except in Minneapolis.|
|As someone who is looking at the filthy bastard right now, (Muscatine, Iowa) what made you choose the Mississippi?||I grew up in Memphis and used to hang out at the river. I am just one of those people that when they see a mountain they want to climb it.|
|Ever read the story "Big Two-Hearted River" by Hemingway? You sound a bit like the character in that. Enjoy your journey and thanks for sharing.||No I did read The River Why, Down the River, Huck Finn, and A River Runs Through it though.|
|How swole are your arms?||I lifted a while before this and my arms have actually gotten smaller but more toned.|
|Any close calls with shady people? Any times where you feared for your safety? Thank you for your military service.||Whenever I go through a larger town or city there are people who hang out under the bridges. I avoid them.|
|Once you get to the mouth in Venice, Louisiana. Would you like to have a beer with me?||Sure.|
|How often do you listen to Black Water by the Doobie Brothers?||I heard it on the radio about two weeks ago and sang along. The stroke by Billy Squire and Drift Away are 2 good paddlin songs too. You can usually find me singing along to Brittney Spears and Ke$ha to be honest.|
|How easy would it be to do this? Like how much experience do you recommend having before you set out on this journey?||You need a decent amount of paddling experience for this and must know how to read a river.|
|Cool.... Where would you get started for all of this?||Join a local paddling club. I went through the Memphis canoe and kayak club's courses on whitewater canoeing and kayaking in the 90's growing up. Even if you don't own a boat your local club will probably help you find something to paddle. When I am on my kayak it moves like another limb of my body. When you can paddle and not think about it you are golden. I used to work for an Outdoors shop in memphis. After work every day I would go to a small public lake at shelby farms and paddle for 2-3 hours. I did it because I loved it, even though I just went around in small circles. I did not know at the time that it would lead to this. Start small and dream big. I love the feeling of being on the water. Some people love climbing rocks. If it is el Cap, Everest, a solo sail around the world or maybe a float of the Mississippi that is your calling you will know.|
|Have you been smacked by any Asian carp yet?||Yes they do hit my boat daily. Since lock 19 in Iowa they have been everywhere.|
|Very cool, I think it is very cool to see someone actively crossing things off a bucket list! Too many people just talk about doing those things but are never serious. Thank you for your service as well!||I was paddling north of Minneapolis when I saw a couple of kayaks in front of me. I paddled to catch up and there were about 40 people paddling down the river. I had not seen anyone else paddling before and I was excited. They were a river club from Minneapolis that was out for a day paddle. One of the nice older ladies offered me a place to stay but I did not take the offer and paddled another 10 miles after they got out.|
|Just curious, how did you get by the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota? I imagine you just pulled out some where and put back in down river but I'd be interested to hear how anyway.||There is a ridiculously long trail that goes up and down over 2 old rail beds, across a concrete path, down a steep hill, across a 2 foot wide bridge, up a hill with a tree fallen in the middle, then down a long path, that turns into another long path, that finally goes down a hill into a parking lot and then down another steep hill. The path was covered in ticks and there was dicarded panties and broken liquor bottles the whole way. I described it in another response as "rapey". It was not a good time.|
|How long do you plan on this trip taking? And did you do anything special to prepare for a journey of this magnitude?||70-80 days Nothing too special to be honest. Having gone through SERE-C in the Army helped as well as a lifetime of trips in the outdoors.|
|Welcome to St. Louis! Just wondering if the river's as muddy everywhere else as it is here? We even have a cake named Mississippi Mud Cake, so, yeah... lol.||I used to drink the water and see down 6 feet. Since Iowa it has been bad. Remember playing "hot lava" as a kid. It is like that but with cancer.|
|Why?||I once heard that the afterlife might be a separation from time and you live your life over and over again. Do yo measure life in dollars or in sunsets?|
|To an alien my life has purpose. What do you have. If it is kids and love you win. If not . . .|
|Because I own things that money could never buy.|
|Did I miss the imgur link to OP's pictures?||The link is in my comments.|
|I work at a kayak rental shop in Cleveland, on lake Erie. Im assuming the boat is about 17 feet because you are obviously an experience paddler. Is that right?||It is 14 feet.|
|Did you bring any weed?||No :(|
|Bummer man.||I might find a stealth grow on the banks one of these days but I wouldn't want to steal it. I will keep on looking though.|
|Real men paddle FROM Pensacola TO Minneapolis.||If I could find someone to fund it I would turn around and paddle back when I am done.|
|I'd love a brief overview of the gear you're using.||The kayak is a Jackson Cuda Sit on top. I was using an Accent kayak paddle until the blade snapped in the quad cities. I use an Accent paddle board paddle now. I sleep in either my REI 2 man tent or on my ENO hammock. I cook with a denatured alcohol stove. I always wear my life jacket which I have a dry bag attached to hold my phone and wallet. I have a rather large river knife attached to my vest also. I use a Marmot 30 degree sleeping bag with a Thermarest Z-rest for my bed. I had a solar panel and a gps but the river took those from me a month ago.|
|LOVE my ENO hammock! Slept in it all weekend... Good luck brotha!||The ENO hammock is my favorite piece of gear.|
|As would I! I can't imagine using a sit on top for expedition paddling...a sea kayak feels so much more cozy to me.||I picked the Jackson Cuda because I can stand and paddle it like a paddle board. I didn't go with a traditional kayak because I was afraid my legs would not be able to handle months inside a regular kayak.|
|Good luck, sir. I hope you find what it is you're looking for.||You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... a cow... on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.|
|Post that shit everywhere :D Maybe our numbers will swell abit.||And the trivia team will grow.|
|Please tell me that's not a fishing pole. I hope you don't plan on eating any fish from that river. Polluted nasty poop fish! That's my poop you are kayaking with! (I live in STL)||I would not eat anything south of the quad cities.|
|You are still north of myself - but when you reach Cairo to Caruthersville (spelling) anthing along that stretch - Basically the Convergance of Ohio and Miss - to where I44 crosses the River.||Thanks. I will be passing by probably Friday. I could definitely use a new kayak paddle but I think my mom in Memphis has a spare she will lend me. Mine broke in the quad cities and I have been using a paddleboard paddle like a canoe paddle. It is a mess and I can't close my hands fully anymore but I kind of like it.|
|You need anything because I could probably get it to you.||You can come out and we can high five if you want.|
|So - regarding Paddle and whatever - looks like I can swing heading North along the river on Thursday - so we are not constrained to a Friday crossing timeline. So outside of the Paddle - any "inland" favorites you desire let me know and we will try and work this out.||I talked to my mom and I have an old paddle of mine at her place in Memphis. If you just want to come say hi that would be nice.|
|Because of the width and the height of the Cuda, a 240cm paddle would be best if you're going to provide a replacement. Maybe the Bending Branches infusion with the soft grips...||I was using a 240 before because of the cuda's height. When you set the chair in the low position it is actually not that tall. It is an amazing vessel.|
|You should launch a Kickstarter campaign to write/document your travels. Perhaps when you do the trip again with a Wounded Warrior. The Wounded Warrior project could perhaps help too.||If I could raise money I might. I am well read and well educated but I feel no need to share this. If I could help someone by being popular that would be good. I would rather just die with this than let someone sell it.|
|I plan on writing a book but I do not like attention while I am doing it. I have already written over 120 pages in my journal but I feel the river is the true story, not some asshole like me going down it If I do ever publish a book about this I want it to be like cannery row, a bit of the wild slipping on the knife. Some days I just wish I was like the kid in into the wild and if I die out here it is worth writing about.|
|I'm pretty sure I recall you posting your "ride wanted" ad in the twinscitiessocial subreddit or something of the like. Glad to see you found your ride! I recently traveled alongside the river just in Minnesota alone and am really jealous of your trip. No questions here, just good luck!||Give some love to mn_redditor. Without him I would not be here.|
|When you come through Vicksburg, Mississippi, let me know!||I will send you a message when I am close.|
|Did you get bitten by a snake. I fear most bodies of water because of this T_T.||I have only seen two snakes in the water, both while waiting for locks. There will be more.|
|Oh my gosh HEY, i know you! I work at the Four Points you stayed at in MPLS and drove you around in the shuttle :) So fun to see your post on here and see the pictures of where you've been!||Hey thanks for the radio station advice. You were a cool chick.|
|I admire your exercise in Zen. I find mine climbing rock walls. Enjoy the solidarity, risk, and enlightenment. The process of present moments is what matters.||The best days are the ones where the hours melt like minutes.|
|When you get back the zombie contamination will be over.||I always wanted to be patient zero in the zombie apocalypse. Maybe the foul waters of lousiana will cause this.|
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