It was still raining when I woke up. The wind was strong, and 3 of 4 tent stakes had been pulled out of the sand, so my tent and the rainfly were slack against me and all my stuff. There was a puddle in my tent, and everything made of fabric was soaked through. I double checked—yes, I had been smart enough to put my phone and computer and electronics inside the dry bag before I slumped into my grumpy sleep for the night. When it was just sprinkling, I dragged everything out, one at a time, hanging all my clothes and gear on the limbs of a fallen tree nearby. The morning sun and the wind dried most of my stuff within an hour, and I only had to pack my hoodie and sleeping bag wet.
Once on the water, I chose my next audiobook, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, which I enjoyed listening to all day. I didn’t see many people, and the paddling was easy enough today. I did 37 miles--my longest day yet! Like the last time I did more than 20-something miles, it was sort of an accident, but luckily, it didn’t really feel like I did all that much more than 20-something miles. The river was moving faster (there were several rapids today), it was fairly straight and though the wind was in my face some of the day, it was at my back some of the day too.
I had planned on making my way to Kris and Tom Niebler’s (river angels!) where I had been looking forward to their offers of shower, errands, and a rest day with wifi. My phone was low on battery and I didn’t have my solar charger out since it had been threatening to rain this morning, but I made sure to get a description of their house’s location before it died. Though I had their address, my phone died before I could reference the address with my map. And, so, as I passed their house, I somehow missed it. And Kris said they had been out watching for me all evening, and they missed me too! Don’t know how that happened (Yes, I’m still on the Mississippi—didn’t take a wrong turn somewhere). But as I realized I was much too far beyond where there house would possibly be, and the sun was setting, I decided to just camp on another sand/rock spit on an island. I like these little spots :) So, that was the 2nd day in a row where I was supposed to meet a river angel and wasn't able to. Paddling is a practice in releasing expectations.
First thing I did in camp was unpack my wet sleeping bag to try and get it a bit drier. Tonight, I used some heavy rocks on the stakes since stakes in sand don’t hold as well as stakes in dirt. After setting up the tent and eating a can of beans, I talked to my sister on the phone, complained about crawling into my clammy, damp sleeping bag, and kept yawning. “Go to sleep!” she said. “I can’t,” I replied, “the moon is shining so bright in my tent. “Turn it off!” she admonished. Ha.