Paddling Bryans on Fox News
I would have to say that one of the craziest things that ever happened on our trip or even in my life for that matter, was the time we spent with Johnny in Kimswick, Missouri. It was a day or so after New Years’ Eve and we needed to make a water stop. We noticed an old decrepit boat launch on the side of the river and decided to stop and check it out. When we reached the shore we could make out in the distance, what looked to be a trailer park house or a large shed.
I stayed with the canoe and Bryan headed off with the water jug. About ten minutes later, I was sitting on the canoe looking at maps and a pickup truck showed up. I was worried that we were on private property and that this guy was going to want me to leave, and Bryan wasn’t back with the water yet. The guy rolled down the window and said “your name is Bryan right?” He went on to tell me that his name was Ray and that he and his buddy Johnny (who owned the property) had just met Bryan and they wanted us to stay with them for the night to have some good home cooked food and cold beer. Ray and I loaded up the canoe in the truck and we drove a couple of hundred yards up to his house where Bryan and Johnny were waiting for us already drinking beers. Johnny invited us in and the party
We slept in the next morning. During breakfast, Johnny was able to convince us to stay one more night. He told us that he called Fox news in St Louis, Missouri to come interview us about our journey. He then drove us into town to show us around. He took us to see an old house that Ray was rebuilding that had a civil war bunker under the basement. We went for lunch at the local bar and when we got back to Johnny’s place we found out that the Fox news crew were on their way to interview us.
When the reporter showed up he decided that Bryan was too drunk so I would be interviewed by myself. Once we started the interview Bryan wouldn’t stop interrupting me so Darlene, Johnny’s wife, made Johnny and Bryan go inside the house. After a little while Bryan and Johnny started to make a lot of noise so Darlene went in to tell them to be quite. This didn’t go over well with Johnny and the fight was on!… they both started yelling out of control. So much so that the Fox crew and reporter took off in the
middle of the interview. Bryan and I separated the two of them and I took Johnny inside to calm him down.
Meanwhile, a bunch of friends showed up because they heard Fox news was there. They had no idea a fight had broken out. It got so out of hand that friends pressured Darlene into calling the police. When the officers showed up, I was still inside with Johnny. This was not a good place to be. Johnny got up, locked the doors, grabbed me and dragged me into the bathroom. Needless to say, I was freaked out a bit.
Unsure of what was about to happen next with then police, I tried to convince Johnny that his wife was outside and had keys to the house, so he should just open the door. Johnny did not agree with this suggestion. Moments later the cops burst in with shotguns in hand and from the living room they urged us to come out with our hands up.
Finally Johnny caved in and left the bathroom. Then they asked me to come out too. They cuffed us both and started asking a lot of questions. They ended up taking Johnny away and let me go. They told both of us Bryans that we better be leaving in the morning. So naturally we stayed up all night partying and left two days later. All in all it was a very crazy couple of days and I felt a lot safer once we got back on the river.