I love taking shots of the cityscape from the convergence.
I’ve been to this boat ramp a lot in the last two years but I’ll refresh your memory. At the point where the Kansas (Kaw) river flows into the Missouri river there is a boat ramp and a Lewis and Clark Park. It is a weird place behind a trucking company and the park seems run down but it is very pretty and the view of downtown is very unique and underappreciated.
So in the above picture you are looking out over the KS and the MO is in the background and off to the left. Yesterday the water was way higher and moving much faster then we have ever been out on. Last year we went to the river once and it was higher and faster but the boat ramp was too far under water to use to get Grandma out. This time it was just above water.
Jon and I put Grandma in w/ a cooler of beer, water and ice tea. We had all the typical boat equipment and bellies full of big macs, fries and iced tea. Ohh and a little bit of gas in my boat gas tank and 1/2 a 5 gallon tank with the bad gas from the lake. I’m not sure why this was not a concern of ours but it wasn’t. I guess we unconsciously decided to deal with it later.
Our primary mission was to scope out the Paseo Bridge over the MO. It’s about to be torn down and rebuilt and we wanted to look at the equipment and the bridge pre demolition. Right now it looks like this.
And in a billion years or whenever the project is supposed to be done it is expected to look like this.
Bridge projects take so long I assume those cars are not running on gas but some sort of cool future energy source. I know the Troost and 85th street bridge has been down forever and it is just a little guy. Jon and I did some talking about bridge building on the trip so that explains my issues with the time required to replace a bridge.
So the river was fast and full and had a lot of driftwood in it. There were massive trees flying down the river. So it was exciting cruising Grandma down stream steering past as much debris as possible. We often got into some small branches and had to knock them off the engine. So the ride was exciting but not smooth. The motor appeared to be running great and steering great but the river had such crazy currents and so much stuff in it we struggled a bit. We went past the Broadway bridge and looked at the Paseo Bridge and barges and tug boats and cranes under it and kept going past Isle of Capri Casino and Harrah’s casino and the the gas crisis began.
Kind of like that. The boat started acting funny, like we had sticks stuck under us but we didn’t and we tried to go fast and it choked and we tried to go slow and it spudered and then it died. Instead of cruising along we immediately started flowing fast down the river with the current. We picked up the gas tank and realized it was about empty and the cause of our engine problems.
We got out the paddles and all the braun we could find and rowed Grandma hard. We were aiming strait across the river to the shore but the wind was against us and the current was perpendicular so it took a long time to make it to shore. Sometimes we made progress, sometimes we moved backwards and all the time we moved down stream.
But we made it and missed all the metal on the shore and ended up in a nice little sheltered cove were we could tie up and work on our problem. Jon had a great idea to turn my 5 gallon of gas on it’s side and let the gas settle. So we did that then looked up closest gas stations on my phone. There was a Conoco a mile away. Once the gas settled (water is heavy and sinks in the gas tank and gas sits on top) we kept the tank on it’s side and opened the air vent (it was now located at the bottom). Clear water began to pour out. This went on for a while and eventually the water began to get a blue tint. We held a clear water bottle under the stream and filled it up then plugged the vent. We let the water bottle settle for minute and it did not separate it was all pretty blue boat gas we poured it into the boat gas tank then poured more from the tank to the bottle and it was again clean. So we poured the rest of the tank into the boat.
I’m not good at guessing how much gas is in a tank. It was less then half but how much less I’m not sure. Also I certainly don’t know how much gas Grandma burns cruising against the MO, upstream dodging sticks and fighting it’s way back to the ramp. We were torn on weather to get more gas or try to make it. After a bit of trying to idle against the current and making no progress we decided to go all out, floor the peddle duck down out of the wind and fly up the river as close to shore as we could.
This worked great and in no time we could see the ramp. The scary part was getting back onto the KS and crossing the whole river not close to the shore but the gas held out and we decided to cruise up past the ramp a way then turn it off and coast our way back to the ramp.
We cracked some beers and got comfy and floated down stream. The boat stuck close to shore slowly bouncing along the side. Eventually we bounced right under 3 or so trees hanging into the water just loaded up with…
mulberries. We were not hungry but began to eat. We stood up and grabbed branches and plucked off berry after juicy sweet berry. There were tons of ripe ones, some so ripe they fell off the branch as you reached for them. One tree was super sweet and we worked it over good, eating drinking and talking for probably 30 minutes.
I looked down and saw the boat was full of berries.
The delicate little guys were falling all over. After we were stuffed with berries we let go of the tree and floated on to the ramp. We put her on the trailer with no problem and got her home just before it got too dark to drive with the lights off.