Monthly Archives: July 2022

Missouri Headwaters

It has been nearly two years since my last post.  Since then, I took the Morgan down the Mississippi transferring to the Atchafalaya and then getting on the ICW.  This landed me in Pensacola, where my engine stopped working.  There we have been, unable to get it running.

I found a teaching job and worked to put money back into the adventure fund, while completing projects on the boat and trying to figure out the engine.  It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I got the engine pulled out and to a mechanic, who informed me that I needed a new one.  So, it is time for a vacation.

On my bucket list was to float the Arkansas River.  Having seen the headwaters of the Arkansas, I knew that meant many miles of walking in dry river beds.  When I set out on the Morgan, I had considered taking a smaller boat from Lake Ouachita, following the Ouachita River to the Gulf of Mexico.  I considered that again, but wanted to go bigger.  That is when I learned about the Milk River in northern Montana. 

The Milk River meanders its way North across the Canadian border, following the border West for a couple hundred miles before going South.  It feeds into the Missouri and empties into the Gulf.  For the past few months I have been gearing up and outfitting a canoe that could comfortably make the three to four month journey.

Up until a few days ago, the plan was to drive across the border, drop the canoe and gear, drive back across the border, leave the truck in storage, walk back across the border and have a local guide drive me to the river where the canoe would be stashed.  I made it to Kansas before realizing I had left my passport at home (Arkansas).  Options were to drive back and get it, have it mailed to Montana, start south of the border, or choose a completely different river. I chose a completely different river. I am now in Bozeman, MT and the plan is to drop the truck at a storage facility in Three Forks, MT, which is only 0.9 miles from the Jefferson River. The Jefferson River, Madison River, and Gallatin River are the three forks that merge to form the Missouri River. I will now be floating the Missouri headwaters, which so many people advised me to do in the beginning.