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Well, well, well, well, well!

Another Regatta has passed with no deaths, arrests, or maulings by invasive Asiatic Carp, so I guess we can chalk up yet another successful run down the Missouri.

So last Thursday evening, our back porch looked like this. My neighbors love me.

On Wednesday night, I was prowling throughout Strawberry hill with a leaf bag and a dog on a leash, prodding through people’s recycling and trash looking for soda bottles. Obviously, I succeeded.

I also found a wok and a rattan planter for my asparagus ferns. I’d wanted a wok for ages, and the planter is great for keeping the ferns from tipping over all the time and getting broken and ratty.

You might rightly wonder how my neighbors took to me digging through their trash, and I am happy to report that they took it remarkably well. It was a beautiful evening and lots of people were out. Parents supervising kids playing in the yard. Gardeners tending their plants. Folks just kicking back on chairs on the porch sipping on cold beers. Whenever I came across somebody outside, I’d just ask them if it was cool if I harvested any pop bottles from their trash. Not a single person told me “no way, fuck off you crazy trash-picking loony person.” I am constantly amazed and heartened by how accepting people are of weirdness if you have previously informed them, politely and lucidly, that you are about to do something very odd.

I ended up with more than enough bottles to float my boat. We ended up using only the 2 litre bottles, plus some large juice jugs and a couple of big-assed empty Vodka bottles that I found on Beardsley Rd.

I found yet another one on my way home from work on Sunday. Somebody who either lives off Beardsley or travels it a lot is going through a hell of a lot of el-cheapo “vodka.”

I had begun by just lashing bottles straight to my PVC-and 2X2 framework, but they just wouldn’t stay put. Joel had already constructed his raft using salvaged foam insulation sheeting for his pontoons, and there was just enough foam left for a single layer on each side (his were constructed with two layers of foam, as seen below:

So I un-wrought the network of inner-tubes and bottles I’d originally laced together, laid down the sheets of foam, and found that re-instating the bottle pontoons was immeasurably easier with the base layer of foam in place.

So by Saturday morning we had two rafts, but they needed wheels so we could tow them to the launch. Joel had some angle-iron from an old bedframe and some forks and wheels from a few old 16″ kiddie bikes (and also a TIG welder) so he shortly cooked up a pair of chariot trucks for our amphibious trailers.

Here’s my rig in land-mode.

And here it is on water. There are two bikes on the back ’cause Greg needed a way to get back to his car at the end.

Greg didn’t have a chance to build a boat this year, but he has this beautiful sky-blue kayak so he spectated from the water. He also saved my bacon when I overshot the landing at Glow In The Dark Park and couldn’t get turned around. He rowed out and towed me back in to the landing after I kind of panicked and lost my tiny little mind!

I’ve yapped on long enough about the construction of Joel’s and my boats, so now it’s time to feature the real star of Saturday’s show, Anne & Paul’s amazing raft, The Super 40.

Buoyed by four large industrial storage bags, this amazing trashboat comfortably accommodated four passengers with style.

Her chariot wheels canted inward and rubbed against the body of the raft creating a particularly piquant burning-rubber stench during the mile-ish ride from Korruption to Kaw Point

While we were waiting at Korruption for whomever else might arrive, we were informed by a band of punk-rock boys emerging from that venue that we were the weirdest thing they’d ever seen in the West Bottoms.

My heart grew twelve sizes that day.

And now for some gratuitous pictures:

Cheering section cheering from the Main Street overlook near City Market.

Security guard down at the Point had to see what in the hell all these weirdos were doing. He was cool with it, just curious.

As we approached the old and new Paseo Bridges. The new one is the concrete one, the old one is blue. The new bridge stops about halfway across the river. It was a little freaky to pass beneath it, knowing it was suspended and supported by its cables alone.


Up close & personal thanks to the marvels of zoom lens technology.

Underneath the bridge:

A re-purposed barge dock – what was once a restricted area for unloading hazardous materials is now a riverfront patio complete with a charcoal grill and lawn chairs. The sign says:

Dangerous Cargo
No Smoking
No Visitors
No ????? Lights

The river has been up really high due to the excessively wet summer we’ve been having. A week prior to the Regatta, Glow In The Dark Park was closed as the boat ramp was completely flooded. Now, it is just coated in a thick pudding of squishy mud.

Anne’s “mud shoes”

The recent flooding had moved some serious timber. This tree rested atop the railing along the east side of the boat dock.

This one, further up the ramp, soon filled with basking women.

Danimal’s crest is green and curly.

Corinna’s crest is hot-pink and nylon.

Here’s Super Clint showing us his new purple love (anno Race-Face cranks & bars). Yes, folks, he has regularly taken it off some Sweet Jumps.

More driftwood-based basking.

Here’s Joel inflicting his affections on Christi.

Joel and I couldn’t park on the sidewalk because our trailers were so long, so we availed ourselves of a convenient diagonal slot.

All that Trash Boating works up a hefty appetite, so we went out for delicious Mexican food down on the Boulevard. Nothing like some cheese enchiladas and a mug of Horchata to wrap up a damn fine day out.

Let’s plan to do it again next year!

4 Responses to “Bigger, Better, & Trashier!”

  1. planetmort says:

    This is so awesome is defies words!

  2. -dan says:

    pimp. just pimp.

  3. Meetzorp says:

    Thanks! I love encouraging stupid antics, and this was plenty dumb!

  4. Corinna says:

    It was fun enough for the whole afternoon and evening. Then the telling to all my friends. Next year, next year …..

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