Saw briers under the tent, saw briers growing across passage to the boats, and saw briers hanging from the trees. This is not to mention the other vines, like poison oak, which fortunately has never been a problem for me. There were a couple dozen older saw briers blocking the passage to the boats, which I easily broke and moved aside. Although I did get pricked a few times, I was able to clear the passage before Richard awoke. Still can't figure out how we actually set up our tents last night. We must have been exhausted. The photos here were taken this am after I cleaned up the campsite. The boats are now loaded and ready for paddling. We left this makeshift campsite at the at the crack of dawn hopefully never to set foot here again.
Richard and I agreed to boat closer together from now on, a subject debated numerous times since we departed Lake Itasca on May 15th. With this heat, coupled with not being able to find dry grounds, and for a multitude of safety reasons, it is now crucial we stay within shouting distance. The need to paddle close to each other became apparent yesterday when Richard lost sight of me and I passed him on river left. He was just too far ahead to see my boat approaching as he awaited for me on the far side of the river.
It really must be boring for Richard, waiting for me numerous times throughout the day. His sleek, speedy kayak is much faster than my bulky touring canoe. I try hard, often too hard because of my competitive spirit, and sometimes just can't keep his boat in tow. It happened again today as Richard paddled on ahead arriving in Vicksburg "forty-five five minutes" ahead of me.
Richard must get out of the heat of the sun, finish early enough to avoid the mid day heat. For me I don't have this problem. My large wind tunnel designed umbrella from Germany acts as a shade tree. Possibly even better than natural shade because of its UV protection level. Coupled with pouring water over my head I am perfectly comfortable, even in the heat of the afternoon when the heat index is in the triple digits.
Unfortunately, my loyal paddle partner Richard Sojourner does not have shade following him down the river. Those who paddle in extreme heat, without shade have never experienced the comfort level created with following shade. No shade for Richard's boat, yet though. We still have not figured out how to mount a protective cover and still have paddling clearance.
A solution to this issue must be found prior to paddling out on Friday morning. That solution could very well include paddle early, paddle in full moon, break up the day in two segments, as well as find a way to shade a kayak cockpit.
Tune in tomorrow to see what solution(s) we came up with.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.