The day started with the sound of running water right outside my tent. The water had not risen, but I had pitched my tent about 4 feet from a running stream and it sounded wonderful to sleep to. I continued my tradition of coming out of my tent packed. All I had to do was brew some coffee and load the boat and on the river. It would be for 25 miles of, well we would see on that matter.
A few miles into the trip I passed the confluence of the Beaver River, which was close to the home of a good Army friend CSM Dale Brelloch. He had passed away on May 1, 2010. We had lost touch over the years, but I remembered him often. As I passed the river, I sent a message to his son. I missed Dale.
Today’s trip was boring, nothing much happened. Miles and miles of river and city. Later I would wish for boring days like today. The weather was cool the sun was not beating down on me. Just then a barge sneaks up on me, about 25 feet away, slowly he came up beside me. He was fully loaded and going down stream, so the wake was not noticeable. At idle speed he made very little noise. He went by and I waved, and I am sure he was smiling getting to put the scare into that guy in the kayak. He was probably just glad to have gotten by me without incident.
I learned some things that day about the water. Along the shore there is a line of current that on one side curls back clockwise on the right side and counterclockwise on the left. If you go to close on either, you must paddle through water that is flowing upstream, thus making the trip even more difficult. I found out later it gets much worse at higher water. Even if it is a bit scary at first, you must get out into the channel where the water is moving and paddle.
At the end of my trek today was a Sav-A-Lot store and some fresh water, and food. I paddled till around 6pm, found the spit of rock, gravel and litter that stuck out from an small creek outflow. Because of warnings I received from camping in these locations, I made sure that I was not close to any sudden flash flood deluge that may happen during the night. Off to the store I went.
To say that the climb to the store was difficult would-be understatement. Once step forward and slide back in the loose gravel two. Eventually, sweating and smelly, I emerged from the jungle of 6 foot high weeds to find the parking lot of the store. Many goodies later, back at my campsite it was Little Debbie time. I also got some healthy food, like chicken salad, and bananas, but the sweet cakes were the highlight.