I'm camped at the confluence of two of the greatest waterways on the continent: the longest and the largest. It's an appropriately industrial space, given that it is essentially the nexus of two historic highways. We can hear barges passing, and trains honking, and airplanes overhead, and we can look north to one of the nation's largest refineries. 

But it's also wild: a collection of logs, washed up here from who-knows-how-far up towards Minnesota, or Montana; a clean stretch of sand; the rim of water catching the starlight where it washes ashore. Even the soft glow of St. Louis to the south does not look so bad.

Today was about working out the kinks: learning not to keep glass bottles of whiskey wrapped in your clothing, where they will shatter and make everything you own smell. What to back in which bag to make life easier. How not to let so much damn sand blow into your tent. Six weeks out here is going to have to teach me a thing or two.