Day 5 – July 13th, 2009
We encountered rapids in the early hours today near Lawrenceville, Illinois. There were three sets of them all between Class 1 and 2 (??) They were large enough, however, to take on a considerable amount of water over the bow.
After the short morning paddle, we stopped at the Highway 1 Bridge in downtown Lawrenceville. While there’s something about the parade into town, after being strung out for 5 days on the river, you expect signage spelling out your kind as you reach the bridge. You feel that kindred connection for your traveling brethren – the gypsies, the carnies… you’re one of them now.
We took on provisions there and ate lunch at the old IGA grocery store. After another short paddle, we had reached the confluence of the Wabash River. We took pictures and celebrated our first river conquest. Soon thereafter we reached the small burg of St. Francisville.
In St. Francisville we met the mayor’s father, an 81-year-old, upon arrival at the dock… J. Paul Gitay (sp??). Soon thereafter we had our water jugs full, enjoyed a smiling welcome by the chief of police and got a handful of catfish and new bait to get us down the river. We camped on Eagle Island 5 miles south of town. Mr. Gitay scribbled his address for us to write to when he hit New Orleans.
Day 6 – July 14th, 2009
We woke up on Eagle Island. Roger caught a 6.2 pound catfish that night. We had guests for morning beers and discussed a side adventure. There’s a sall canyon 3 miles down river with a cold running stream and waterfall. Roger and I took the hike and we had a photo shoot of the event.
We put our time in on the river that day – 30 miles to the next beachhead in the river as the river starts to bend along the Illinois-Indiana border. Somewhere within a mile of our take out, we lost our catfish and all the steam I had left for the night. We went to sleep with heavy hearts and empty stomachs. That was the end of Day 6, July 14th.