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One hot summers day. My mum was walking our dog in Hyde park. Our three legged wonder fell in the pond and couldn’t get back out. So my mum stepped over to get her and fell in. The moss on the side of the pond meant she couldn’t get out either and not one person in the whole park, and there were hundreds of people, stepped into help. Now the whole point of todays blog is to tell you how blooming kind people along the Missouri river are.

Apologies for the lack of blogs but we are now up and running and ready to keep you you posted from the riverbanks. Sunday brought the wind and the rain and along with that, the Feltmans. Doug, Jeff 1, Tanya, Caley, Jeff 2, Stacey, Steph, Madalynn, Lucky, Hondo, Scruffy, Autumn and Oreo. Say hello to them. On Miguel’s birthday we were blown off the river and the Feltmans came to the rescue. In London you would swerve a smelly bunch of little river elves but here you take them in. We spent the day being fed brownies, fruit, burgers, bean dip, peanut butter cookies, zucchini biscuits. I know. Incredible. They let us shower. They taught us to lasso. They even gave us wooden blocks with their farm brand on it.They have eight people that will give them anything they want in England. They are utterly spectacular.

Miguel’s birthday (and his last night. Boo boo) ended with individual team interviews as the sun went down, a quiz round the camp fire and  star gazing. We were basically in the film ‘The Beach’. Parallel universe and all that.

Monday mornings are always a bummer. Nobody wants to get up on a Monday. Nobody wants to make the gruelling journey into work. Well you do when you’re on the side of the Missouri river eating oats and watching the sun come up. Especially when amazing people from the Feltman family wave you off and incredible people like Rob and Robyn bring you.supplies. Monday was boiling. And while tears were shed for the departure of the absolutely unbelievable filmaker and team member Miguel, the water was like creme brulee. And we nailed 11 miles. Check. Us. Out. Everyone is getting fitter. The ginger is turning into Nemo. And we are turning into proper river rats.

We’ve learned the Missouri river is like Jekll and Hyde. Tuesday brought us an angry river and after setting out earlier with Dave and taking 30 minutes to go backwards, we had to sit it out again. Stretching, sleeping, unpacking bags again, hiding under ground sheets, practising in high winds. It was pretty much an admin day. We were ready to make some waves.

Today gave us a happy river. With a new wake up time of 4.45, we were up and out before the sun rose. Oh yes. What a joy to have the silk water back and what a joy to cover 11 miles again.

A speed boat whizzed past. James from the Corps of Engineers (an absolute gem) pulled up. He gave us water, a map (which looked like it had been stolen from CSI) and called our hero Jim Swenson. Jim met us on the side of the river, again, with supplies including chicken, again. Oh how much we love Jim.

A perfect day on the river can change in 20 minutes. Which it did today. Pottering along in the sun one minute. Being blown over waves into the beach the next. The girls saved the canoe, Ben swam after his board and Dave ploughed through the waves. We all made it. Like Tom Hanks in Castaway to a perfect beach. Set up camp. And watched the sun go down. Plenty more Boob shaped corners for us to go around. And we are feeling ready to take on this muddy river.

by Em Bell

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