Going through Lock 4 just downriver from Berri, we came across a very talkative lockmaster who we probably should have interviewed. As we paddled out, we saw that we were being logged in some book he had open. Asking what we were being described as, he replied “Raft” which is at least not wrong. I don’t think that “Sailing Raft” is a general category. He has only seen about 10 rafts in his 30 years on the locks, so we are a bit of a rarity. But we are not the strangest. A pontoon of blue plastic 44 gallon (250 liter) drums with a tent on top, a Harley Davidson at the front and marijuana growing on the back next to a small outboard, pulling a dinghy with a goat in it, seems to be his strangest memory. Or perhaps the Massey-Ferguson tractor that was using its wheels as paddle wheels that came through in 2006 to celebrate the contribution of the tractors to building levee banks for the 1956 flood, a job that lasted six months as the massed water slowly moved by
One has to work harder to be strange these days.