The Ohio River Confluence, Moon Festival

I work my way around to a sandy point of land and stop. From here there is a large expanse of water. The Mississippi River comes in from the right and the Ohio River, with a volume larger than the Mississippi, comes in from the left. Together they flow south as the Mississippi.

I grab a couple of empty water jugs and head up to the park only to discover there is no drinking water or bathrooms in Fort Defiance State Park. Two retired couples are there looking around and I chat with the women. “Which one is the Mississippi?” they ask me. I explain to them what’s going on and how the Ohio River is coming down from Pittsburgh. “Thanks for the geography lesson.” They say sincerely but with a laugh. They take my picture and wish me luck and head back to the air conditioned cars. I look at them and think just a couple of minutes in air conditioning would be nice.

I leave the point and realize how big the crossing of the confluence is and how much traffic there is and scramble to put on my PFD. (Personal Flotation Device) Yeah the river is big now.

I camp on a sand bar and as the sun set, glowing orange, yellow with streaks of red and purple, a full moon, a brilliant orange, rises behind me in a perfectly clear sky. Its magical and sets the mood. I call my wife who has family over to eat and celebrate the moon festival. Lijun is Chinese and the moon festival is sort of like Thanksgiving where the entire family gathers to feast. I feel bad not being with them and realize how much I miss my wife and family. I send out a Instagram post saying how much I love everyone. I go to bed happy but with emotions churning and coming to the surface.

The Mississippi on the right and the Ohio on the left. They continue together straight ahead.
Can you see Little Joy at waters edge at the end of the path?
200 miles in 4.5 days and the official end of the Upper Mississippi River.
I now switch to lower Mississippi maps with just 953 miles left to the Gulf!
Happy Moon Festival!

2 thoughts on “The Ohio River Confluence, Moon Festival

  1. Marilyn Williams

    I was wondering if you made it to New Orleans, because after September !8, I didn’t see any more posts. By the way, my daughter and son-in-law, David and DeeAnn (Dee) Haight, invited you to stay at their home in (Thomson, IL) last year as you were on your way to St. Louis. I followed you because David and his brother canoed from the mouth of the Mississippi river in MN to David’s home in Thomson, IL. I was so happy to hear they had a safe journey and likewise to hear you had a safe journey. Also you mentioned the Land of the Rising Sun so am assuming your wife is from Japan. We lived in Japan, near Yokuska Navy Base for two years, 1968-1970, and in Okinawa, near Kadena Air Force Base, 1972-1974. Enjoyed their beautiful country and lived on the economy. Enjoyed your beautiful photos and your adventure.


    1. Hi Marilyn, I did make it past New Orleans all the way to Venice Louisiana on October 8th. The trip was to time consuming and difficult for me to keep up the blog in real time. I am writing the blog now form my journal, day by day. I hope to finish it soon. David told me of his canoeing adventure. That is probably why he picked me up in the river and took me home with him. My wife,Lijun, is actually from China. Thanks for following.


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