- Lay in just a little longer and/or update my journal
- Take my vitamins/medicine
- Brush my teeth
- Stuff my sleeping bag and pillow into compression sacks
- Deflate my sleeping mat and fold/wrap it up
- Find something to eat
- Brave the mosquitos to go pee
- Rush back and enjoy just a little more time in my tent without bugs
- Change from camp clothes to paddle clothes
- Pack camp clothes
- Pack electronics bag
- Review map for the day
- Make sure I’ve collected all my trash
- Take down tent and pack it up
- Take 3 or 4 loads back to the kayak for packing:
1. camp clothes, sleeping pad, tent, dobh kit and sometimes food in back hatch
2. electronics bag strapped on top
3. pillow, sleeping bag, quick-grab bag in front hatch
4. food bag in-between my legs in the cockpit, snacks and lunch on deck
Lastly, I don my gloves, pack my water and tevas, put on my sunglasses, hat and PFD, and shove off. It’s sort of a production. I haven’t figured out how to make it less of a production considering that
a) I need my tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, pillow, camp clothes, dobh kit, and some food every single night, and they’re all packed in the farthest reaches of my kayak for weight/balance/fitting everything like a puzzle—reasons.
b) I can’t leave my lunch/snack bag on deck. (Mama Raccoon taught me that) Gotta bring it into camp each night.
c) I use my electronics each night to type my journal, record my milage, and besides, I want that stuff with me at all times.
d) Mosquitos suck.
The day felt pretty easy and lovely. I realized yesterday that my normal “shortcuts” across turns was yielding some very difficult paddling against strange eddies. So today, I worked on finding the “sweet spot” in the current. Often, that means going the “long way around” the curves…but not always. You've got to watch the water, and look for the fastest moving water, and follow that. Tiny whirlpools indicate that the water is eddying and will slow you down significantly.
I spoke with Emily from ASC today, and she and I talked about working to get a story about me up on their site and some more info about them on mine. Another "meeting in the wilderness".
After 13 miles, my mid and lower back muscles felt like they were right on the verge of serious spasms. Not wanting to risk having my back go out (when that happens, I usually have to lay flat for 2-4 days), I stopped paddling, and floated the next 6 miles to the next campground, only paddling to steer. Slow going, but pretty nice. I ended up doing 19 instead of 28 miles today—not quite Jim Lewis-worthy, but still respectable for me.
When I found my camp, I wanted to immediately lie flat, but had to, of course, set up camp first. Feet covered in thick, clay-ey mud, I unpacked and set up my tent as fast as I could. In the few seconds during which I put my things inside my tent, a whopping 40 mosquitos followed me into the tent. I spent a few minutes killing mosquitos, the last of which were full of blood by the time I found them. Splash! Ewwww…it was like a killing field in my tent. Then I spent 10 minutes wet-wiping the mud off my feet, then had to eat some dinner (cold mashed potatoes with dried leeks), change into my camp clothes, blow up my sleeping pad, and THEN lie down. Ahhh, my back immediately thanked me. Hoping resting tonight does the trick and I can continue tomorrow.