After various communication and technical issues, let me now catch up with the progress of this expedition. The day before launch was well worth its own entry. John, our chase car driver, and brother George and I arrived in Malta, Montana, on schedule after a two-day drive from Denver. Malta is about fifty miles from the Canadian border, so is the northernmost point in this journey. You have to go there and the turn back south on forty miles of dirt roads to get to Fourchett Creek Recreation Area, our chosen point of embarkation on the north side of the Missouri River.
After gassing up we headed south, and found quickly that we were following a rainstorm, and were entering an expanse of land with no signs of life, except the occasional cow. It was getting late in the afternoon.
After John left, George and I got the boat tied off and buttoned up the "tent" cover on it and sat out the edge of a passing storm with tunes and well-earned adult beverages. I reflected that the massive planned river voyage was about to be delayed or hazarded by being stuck in the prairie, or worse. Having the trailer jack-knife and flip while ramming through muddy stretches would have been pretty bad.
The weather passed, and we spent a quiet night, looking forward to Day 1 -- the launch of the actual water journey.