diligently recorded by Jodi Pfefferkorn
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011
|photo from the bridge by Bernie Arnold|
Steve ate breakfast with his computer in front of him. Things are just that busy. We certainly wouldn’t be here without the tireless efforts of Steve, Mel & Jeff.
While I took a can of WD-40 & a bag of rags into the engine room to try to cut down some of the diesel soot, the guys set about moving our small work flat to the back of the house barge. Then they loaded up the propane tanks & headed into Jeff City to fill them.
Habibi stayed behind to get started on the “Great Sand Removal of 2011” After I emerged from the engine room looking like a chimney sweep, I joined Habibi. We monkeyed around with a water pump for a while before finally settling on a system which resembled shelving coal into a furnace. We worked ourselves silly then took a watermelon break.
Jeff, Anthony & Racin’ got back from their propane run (which was a fiasco in & of itself) at 1600. By this time Habibi & I were very exhausted, dehydrated & sun-stupid from shoveling sand all day. But we all rallied to unload the propane tanks, scarfed down some sub sandwiches which Lee Diekroeger brought for us, then packed into the “Jimmy” to head back to Columbia to load the box truck for Saturday’s cleanup (Anthony stayed behind to take care of things on the barge).
We dropped Racin’ off at his van because he’s off the barge for a few days to take care of some things. Then we were mad schlepping fools.
Back on board the barge by 2045. Anthony grilled brats and rocked a mad kitchen overhaul & reorganization. We came back and helped Jeff with the schedule of events for the next 30 days. Better get some rest now, because there doesn’t seem to be and sleep in the schedule…
Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011
|photo by Bernie Arnold|
We took all three plate boats. Steve, Anthony and Habibi all drove boats. I was Habibi’s first mate. The whole outing was organized by Joe Engeln. We drove the boats about 5 miles upstream & tied them together then Joe stood on the bow of his boat and educated his fellow DNR workers about the Missouri River. They seemed to really enjoy it.
Steve & Jeff took management level employees out in the afternoon. This was more of a floating meeting for them, covering topics they might have discussed around a conference table but this time in boats.
Josh Pennington stopped by after lunch. He, Anthony & I motored upriver past Claysville Island to take a tour of the sand dredge moored up there. The dredge wasn’t in operation, so we explored Claysville island where we found a cool zippo lighter and a maglight. Both of them worked! We also accidentally discovered a great trash site for Saturday’s clean-up.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Today was the big “Jeff City Cleanup Prep Day” Jeff got the morning kicked off right with scrambled eggs, bacon & fried potatoes for breakfast. That was the kind of energy we needed to put up the Flying Nun kitchen tent for the crew camp. How many river rats does it take to figure out an angle? I think it’s safe to say none of us retained anything we learned in high school geometry but we got ‘er up and she’s flying proudly. The Flying Nun is made from a semi-trailer tarp stretched over a frame made from scrap metal tubing (a Racin’ Dave design from 2004).
|The Flying Nun - photo by Brian Waldrop|
Habibi had the great idea to tie a banner with the MRR logo to it. Now people don’t have to ask “Who are you guys?” Instead, they ask “What does Missouri River Relief do?”
|Upstream scout - photo by Bernie Arnold|
By the time we got back, our crew was starting to arrive. Soda Popp fried catfish – the best darn fried fish any of us have had – and so began the evening. A Lengthy pow-wow around the fire for the clean-up and Race to the Dome. Then it was foshee flying time. It turned into an early evening because of the early wake up call for the clean-up.
Saturday, October 1, 2011 –Today was the Jeff City Clean-up. We sent out over 140 volunteers and had about 30 crew members on hand.
|Veteran river cleaners - photo by Steve Schnarr|
|Hauling one big honking tire onto the work flat - photo by Melanie Cheney|
|Back to the river - photo by Brian Waldrop|
New crew members that we had today were Jason (who operated a boat for MDC- Chillicothe shop), Kris and their awesome little boys, Isaac, Ethan & Avery. Jason works for MDC & was one of their boat drivers. He decided to bring his family along & they had a blast. We hope they come back for more!
Sunday - October 2, 2011
Today was Race to the Dome. Mel trailered one plate boat to the Providence Access and Steve & Joe Englen were the sweep boat for the 26 mile race. Bernie trailered another plate boat to Hartsburg and Habibi & Jeanne were the sweep boat for the 15-mile race. John Brady & I waited for the fog to burn off. Then we took the 150 upriver and met the racers as they were coming down.
|Hartsburg start to Race to the Dome - photo by Bernie Arnold|
|Fixing the rigging -photo by Steve Schnarr|
As soon as he stepped aboard he put us to work moving rigging around so we could move the towboat. It didn’t last long because as soon as Capt. Mike fired up the engines, we discovered that something was jamming up the starboard engine. Capt. Mike mumbled some curse at the Missouri River.
After a bit of standing around, poking around, and a dip in the water by Racin’, we deduced that we needed different tools, but it was too late to go the JCRT yard, so we chowed down on ham and bacon soup that Tim whipped up. It was good eatin’!
After dinner, Habibi, Jeff, Tim and I went to Lee’s to take showers. Did ya’ hear that?...Showers!!! Quote of the day! Jeannie Kuntz referred to the Capital dome as “the ‘space nipple’ where aliens come down and…”
Monday, October 3, 2011
Racin’ made an early morning run to the Jeff City River Terminal to get a pipe wrench & some extension pipes. He used the wrench to try to loosen the shaft of the starboard engine. Whatever was jammed between the prop & hull was jammed pretty good.
At different points in the morning, Habibi, Tim & I found ourselves standing on the pipe wrench extensions. The wrench itself was attached to the shaft of a 600 HP diesel engine. Racin’ was manually revving the engine. This caused whoever was standing on the pipe wrench to bounce up & down while holding onto anything in the engine room to keep from getting bucked off. But hey…it worked! The log popped out & the shaft spun freely.
As the culprit drifted downriver, we all flipped it the bird and bid it fare-fxxxxxg well.
Once the log was free we were able to pull up to the boat ramp and take on water. The Jeff City Fire Dept. brought a truck and crew down and filled our tanks for us! We were under way by 1215 & heading in the right direction (downstream) for the first time this trip.
|We pull away from the ramp and head downstream - photo by Joe Wilson|
Did I mention how cool Captain Mike is? A world class gentleman for sure. He’s a patient rigging instructor & a fun guy to joke around with on the radio.
|We were lucky to have the most experienced river cleanup towboat pilot ever - Mike Hanlin|
|We pull into a perfect little spot at the Hermann ramp - photo by Steve Schnarr|
- Jefferson City Cleanup Page
- Jeff City photos
- Other Jeff City Blog Entries
- Race to the Dome homepage
- Big Muddy Clean Sweep homepage
|Sunrise over Hermann - photo by Bernie Arnold|