I did a snowy Cannonball Run to Minneapolis and back on Saturday to pick up a Thunderbolt X project. She's been sitting for over 5 years. Should be race ready when things warm up. #mr340#chattajack#westsideboatshop
So, I will be turning 32 in July. Today my brother and I signed up for the MR340. A 340 mile boat race powered by just paddles on the Missouri River. All the way across Missouri. This may be the hardest thing I will do in my life. Pumped for the challenge! #mr340#missouririver#paddle#kayak#roughriders#32#optoutside
I remember being tired, but not exhausted when Jerico pulled up to my camp in Glasgow, Missouri. It was the time of day where the sun was down but night had not completely won over the day just yet.
My hammock, strung between two saplings on the edge of the woods, was calling my name. But the big blue van that pulled up was interesting, and the stocky, bearded, gray-haired man who jumped down was even more interesting. A gnome of sorts. "Are you Ellen?" he said
I had gotten used to this at this point in my journey. So few people paddle the entire length of the Missouri River that every respectable river rat has heard about me by then. "That's me." I responded
A solid, real hug, and Jerico and I regarded each other. The river watched silently. Our conversation was one of instant connection and kindred spirits.
And so was the beginning of how I came to be signed up to compete in the Missouri River 340 (MR340), the longest nonstop canoe kayak race in the world.
Fast forward to a month ago. I'm visiting my old friend Jerico at his place in Columbia, Missouri. We lounge by my van, enjoying the simple things in life like being alive and breathing. A plan is forming.
I want to do the MR340 next year.
I don't have a boat.
Jerico wants some ambitious young punk to race his invention, a pedal boat, in the 340 and show the world what his creation can do.
The match was obvious. I don't know if I believe in fate or not, but sometimes things happen a little too perfectly.
Trust the Trip Gods. Magic will happen.
MR340, here I come!
Let the training begin!
This is TS Paddle no. 1, in May of 2013 I decided I wanted to make a paddle, I had never woodworked before making this paddle. I YouTubed a video on how to make a Greenland paddle, purchased a small amount of hand tools, and the rest goes from there.
This paddle shows a wood burned map of the MR340 Race from Kansas City to St. Louis with all the checkpoints, mile markers, and landscapes. I participated in the race in 2012 and wanted a useful decoration for my wall, but with the more paddles I made over the years I wanted to do something for my fellow MR340 racers. In 2015 I donated this paddle to the last place finisher before the cut off time, and have donated an MR340 paddle for the last 3 years.
This is no. 1 of 31 paddles.
2017 review: a year of SUP. I started to race on a paddleboard and completed 4 long distance river races - S Dakota Kayak Challenge (72 miles), Fort to Field 50, Missouri River 340, and Chattajack (31 miles).
I spent November riding a fat bike in northern Colorado. Riding, shooting pictures and video. Now it’s a time to return to paddling. In less than a month I will have to decide what to paddle in the 2018 Missouri River 340 race.
Missing this big beautiful body of water a little more than usual today. Work and other things got in the way of enjoying it as much as I wanted to this year, but those are just excuses. We make time for the things that matter most so being out on the water is going to be a priority next year. #MR340#missouririver#freedom#river#cooperslanding#canoe#kayak#nofilter