I would like to congratulate Dave Cornthwaite of the UK, on an incredible feat. Dave has quite literally been in the Missouri River swimming since August 10th. Today he arrive at The Gateway Arch in St. Louis. That is the end of his epic 1000-mile swim of the Missouri River.
The Missouri is a river of scary legends. Every child raised in Missouri is bottle-fed fear of it. I remember a day when nobody would even swim across it without writing a will first. Dave has crushed these long-held myths. The Missouri River passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet. He has been the first to enjoy every mile at eye level.
Yes, the Missouri is muddy. But it is a “clean dirty”. It looks pretty dark, but if you fill a glass with Missouri River water and wait a little while, you will be in for a surprise. In an hour the water in the top 95% of the glass will be clean. A sediment layer is on the bottom. You can quite literally drink the water above and probably not die. The sediment in the bottom is intended to sustain the richest river bottom farm land in the world.
Once every factory along the Missouri spewed vile pollutants into it. All of those industrial polluters have now been gone for 20 years. Rivers are living things. They repair themselves quickly because nothing about them remains constant. The result is simply amazing.
The Missouri is now full of life. The fish, fowl, and mammals that live off of it are all back. To float or swim the Missouri today is to see it at its zenith. It is sort of like being back during the Lewis & Clark days but better. Years of channel management, wing dikes, and levees have made it wider and grander than it ever was.