So where is the boat?

Anyone else look at the picture that accompanied this story in the Pioneer today and groan a little bit?

No? Well, I did.

It was never my intention to even run the photo that appeared today. I took it as a backup more than two weeks ago.

Eddy Ferreira, 69, and Jan Broennich, 68, both of Norway, arrived July 26 in Bemidji in preparation for their adventure down the Mississippi River. I interviewed them on Friday, July 30, as they told me they were still awaiting the boat – Emma – that was a bit delayed. I told them that I was going to take a picture of them then, just as a backup, but that we (the Pioneer staff) would get a picture of them with their boat when it arrived.

Well, the boat was delayed. Again. And again.

I ran into Eddy and Jan at practices for the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival two weeks ago and we chit-chatted about the status of their boat and whether they were jealous of the dragon boaters who were paddling in boats at that time (versus the guys, who were, still, waiting for Emma).

I knew they were getting anxious. They told me that while they were enjoying – greatly – their time with Bemidjians and seeing the area, they really came to the United States to go downriver. They were ready.

I got a call Friday telling me that Emma had arrived. I called Eddy right away and he told me they were leaving at 10 a.m. Sunday from a certain Mississippi River access. I told him I would meet them there at 10 a.m. But then I told him I would call him Saturday night to confirm.

Well, my Saturday ended up busier than I thought. I worked until about 7 or 8 p.m. and went home, leaving Eddy’s cell number at work.

On Sunday, I packed up the husband and the daughter and we went to the access about 9 a.m., figuring that if they were leaving at 10, maybe I could see them early and get a few updates on their time in the area.

They never showed.

And I, really, wasn’t overly surprised. It was colder and the skies were fairly dark. It looked like rain.

I just figured they left a bit earlier than planned (and I never gave them my cell number, so it’s not like they could have told me).

It wasn’t until Tuesday, after occasionally wondering if I went to the wrong access point, that a co-worker filled me in: Eddy and Jan departed Saturday.

I don’t blame them – they’d been waiting for almost three weeks for this trip to really begin.

But I still wish I could have gotten a picture of the boat.