It’s no surprise that there’s no access to the ocean in Missouri. I love the ocean, but unfortunately, I don’t get the chance to be near one unless I’m on vacation. I have found though, that there’s a way to get my ocean fix while I’m stuck in Missouri.
The Meramec River.
The Meramec River is a small river that runs through the southern edge of St. Louis County. If you grew up in St. Louis, then you’ve been floating on the Meramec before. It’s cold, and easy going, so it makes for a wonderful place to flock to when the weather gets hot. For those of you not familiar with “floating,” it’s basically attaching a lot of inflatable rafts, dinghies, inner tubes, canoes, or kayaks together and letting the river’s current move you along. There’s usually quite a bit of alcohol involved, and stops all along the river for jumping off of cliffs, rope swings, or just enjoying the sights.
I personally haven’t been floating in a while, but I have found a nice beach close to my house off of the Meramec that helps to quell my longing for the ocean.
There’s a park next to my house called Castlewood that has access to the river and a small sand beach for people to use. Just yesterday on Memorial Day, the river was packed with people swimming and enjoying the beach. It’s the closest thing us land locked Midwesterners get to sand and surf.
Just like the ocean though, there are risks. While there aren’t any sharks, there are dangerous currents and debris that threatens to snag you and pull you under. Many people have drowned in the Meramec River, either from drinking too much and not being able to swim, or from getting caught in a dangerous current and not being able to get out.
I’m thankful that even though there’s not an ocean here, I can still get some kind of beach access. I can’t wait to spend the summer at the river, cooling off and enjoying being pushed along with the current.