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Lisbon Bottoms at night (Read 290 times)
02/08/21 at 20:13:28

Dinkirk   Offline
Future Participant

Posts: 4
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Having read the forum front to back (no joke) over the past few months, I think have a good idea of what it will take to hit my stretch goal of 60hrs to finish.  My plan is to get to Glasgow between midnight and 4AM - sleep for a few hours - then head out for Lisbon Bottoms at the crack of dawn or maybe a bit earlier.  The wisdom on this forum makes it clear that I should have a plan A, B, C and D in place and ready to execute to account for all the variables that could crop up.  I have those plans laid out for the scenarios that put me behind my target pace.  However, I am not sure what I should do if I hit Glasgow ahead of my schedule, or if I feel great (and not ready to sleep) when I get there.  That means I have to choose to stop and rest when I feel I still have some gas in the tank, or tackle Lisbon Bottoms in the dead of night.  Also, while this scenario being a reality means that I am feeling good physically, it does not change the fact that I will have been in a kayak for MANY hrs at that point, and will not be 100%.   I plan to run Lisbon Bottoms in the daylight as part of my work-up to the race, but wanted to get some veteran input on the wisdom of running that section at night in the race.  Is it really as difficult as it is made out to be on the forum, or will I be OK if I just follow the ProPaddler app?
The reasons I am seriously considering it are two-fold. 
1.      Lots of advice on this forum says to “make-hay” in the wee hours of the night and nap in the afternoon when temps are the hottest. 
2.      I am concerned that if I head out of Glasgow in the early morning, I may be fog-bound until it burns off. 
 
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Reply #1 - 02/09/21 at 11:45:38

Patrick M   Offline
MR340 Veteran

Posts: 25
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I ran the race in 2018 and had 12 miles on the Missouri River to my name when I started the race and I had not paddled this section. I did no prep for Lisbon Bottoms or any other part of the river except watching the 340 paddler videos and having Pro Paddler on at night. I left Glasgow alone at 3:15am after a couple of hours of sleep. That put me at Lisbon around 4-4:30am. You will hear a bunch of rushing water as you get closer to the cut. If you paddle the river just like you normally would for a sweeping turn, you will be just fine. Stay pretty much dead center of the river through that section and you will have clearance for the cut as well as the big wing dikes that come out from the inside of the turn.

It feels like Lisbon Bottoms is super hyped up as a really bad spot, but at 2018 water levels I didn't feel that way at all. It might be the "scariest" part of the Missouri, but compared to other rivers this just isn't that bad. The noise will perk you up and you should be just fine if you can keep calm and think rationally. I think strainers on smaller, fast moving rivers are way scarier than this section of river. I never felt like I was getting pulled towards the cut and looking at my attached GPS track, I was relatively close.
 
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Reply #2 - 02/10/21 at 18:23:12

Jaybee   Offline
4X MR340 Veteran
Knoxville, TN

Posts: 416
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You are smart enough to be concerned about it and you know that it's there.  That's really all you need.  I've gone through Lisbon Bottoms twice in the dark and twice in daylight - all were equally non-eventful.  As said, you will hear it with plenty of warning - just paddle near mid-channel and you will be fine.    In 2020, (daylight) I edged over towards river left just to get  feel for what was going on there.  At no time did I feel that the current through the cut was going to overpower the main Missouri current and drag me away.  It is a danger area and as such, you must respect it.  But unless you are hugging the left bank you'll get through it just fine.  I would consider Lisbon Bottoms very dangerous if it were foggy but frankly, many parts of the river are dangerous in fog.
 

Jim
Boat # 3489
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Reply #3 - 02/14/21 at 11:14:08

Rusty Coons   Offline
6X MR340 Veteran
Gritty Fitty Veteran

Posts: 201
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I've been through there a few times at night and a couple times in the day.  Last year my wife and I were paddling with our 12 year old we left out of there around 5:30 and were really lucky to not get fogged in at Lisbon.  If you were at Glasgow at sometime between midnight and 4 I would recommend pushing on.  If there is any fog starting it stacks up in Lisbon pretty often.  I also think it is going to be a low water year so it may be a little more hairy than most have experienced in the past but there will be far less pull towards the chute.  If at anytime your plan is to stop and you don't feel tired and there is no fog you definitely need to keep paddling.
Rusty Coons
Boat 3337
 
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Reply #4 - 02/14/21 at 21:33:30

Dinkirk   Offline
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Posts: 4
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Thank you for the input on this.  As I mentioned in my original post, I have gone through every page of this forum - all 93 pages of it - twice now, and there is lots of discussion about it.  With a few exceptions, the feeling I get is that as long as I am aware of the situation and know where to go and where to stay away from, there should be no issues.   I do have to say that I am looking forward to running it in the daylight just to see this epic section of the river in all of it's glory. 

Another factor in me thinking that Lisbon Bottoms at night ought to be OK is that my very first time on the MO was last September through Berger Bend.  I took one of Shane's Paddle Stop shuttle tours from Herman to New Haven.  Through a number of errors on my part, I ended up signing up for the night paddle instead of the beginners day paddle.  Without knowing it (I had not read the forums at that point)  I negotiated a section of the river that seems to have a pretty nasty reputation.  While Shane, and the other paddlers were in the vicinity, they did not coach me (nor did I expect or wish to be coached) as we went through.  If Lisbon Bottoms is anything like this, I feel pretty good about taking it on at night as long as I can run it during the day at some point in the spring.

I will leave you with two more questions to answer:
1) If fog does form on the river, when does it usually set in/burn off?   Is that something that can be answered or is it too variable to be able to nail down typical fog times?
2) How long did it take all of you to be able to spell Leudke without having to look it up?   

Dave Amelung - boat 4728
 
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Reply #5 - 02/15/21 at 17:33:44

Jaybee   Offline
4X MR340 Veteran
Knoxville, TN

Posts: 416
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As a sightseeing event, Lisbon Bottoms is kind of a letdown.  Not much to see there.  The biggest thrill is the sound, you'll hear what sounds like a waterfall on river left.  But even in daylight you'll just be looking at some piles of debris.  Unless you get so close that it sucks you in I don't think you're going to see very much exciting stuff at LB.  That path is highly not recommended, even if you survive, your boat will probably not.

1. Fog is a variable.  Most likely to start up in the wee hours of the morning and burn off after daylight. But that's not a given.
2. I believe it's Luedke.  Nobody can spell it.  Not sure if Chris even knows without notes or a video as a prompt.
 

Jim
Boat # 3489
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Reply #6 - 02/21/21 at 08:42:44

Dinkirk   Offline
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Posts: 4
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While Lisbon Bottoms and Berger Bend seem to be the most talked about areas of the course on this forum, it seems like the approach to Glasgow is actually the most tricky part of the course.  I have seen the two stories of boats getting caught up on one of the bridges, and several comments about the conditions around the ramp. 

While very scary to read, and probably very humbling to post, I find these stories most helpful in my preparation for 2021.  It is one thing to read a post about something to do or not to do.  However the stories of the consequences of not following those suggestions really drive home the lesson. 
 
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Reply #7 - 02/22/21 at 10:20:19

MurKee Water   Offline
5X MR340 Veteran
MR340 Safety Boat Pilot

Posts: 866
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MR340 Propaddler app and a good system for keeping device dry and charges is your very best friend. I have paddled Lisbon many times at night, the biggest challenge is limited vision and disorientation, Propaddler helps with both. It's a big S bend with some weird dikes but really nothing to be afraid of. Unless it's 2019 and 26°. That was a little freaky.
 
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