Today was weird, felt like something was missing. Richard Sojourner was not paddling along side me. That was a heart breaker. It was a beautiful day to paddle though, with great winds and following waters. Layne and I paddled the remaining 37 miles to Natchez, Mississippi in five hours. Although there were some interesting things to write about, I am devoting the remainder of this blog to my great paddle buddy and river brother Richard Sojourner.
MESSAGE FROM RICHARD SOJOURNER:
As you already know, Dale and I left Greenwood MS early Tuesday morning July 28th, camped at a most miserable campsite that night and arrived at Vicksburg MS by12:30 pm Wednesday July 29th. Although fast, the 100 mile paddle took a serious tole on us. It was 99* with a heat index of 113* on Tuesday and Wednesday, the hottest day of the year thus far in Mississippi, it was 101* with a heat index above 115*. I became dehydrated on Tuesday, didn't fully recover that night, and was even more dehydrated the following day.
With Dale's and Tim McCarley's help, I made every effort to recover but Wednesday evening, I experienced some concerning medical issues and decided to get a medical checkup. The examination confirmed that I was quite dehydrated and, in addition, had developed Bursitis in my left knee. Tim's Dr, Dr Bynum, ordered several tests, the results of which would be known Friday morning, before we planned to paddle out. I was feeling better Friday. While preparing to depart, we had a nice interview with the local News Paper and talked with several folks who had come down to see us off. Shortly after 9:00am, I received the call from Dr. Bynum's offices...and that's when things went downhill.
My Electrolytes and Kidney Functions were well out of normal range. Dr. Bynum wanted to retest me in 4 - 5 days and strongly discouraged me from paddling. Needless to say, this was not what I had anticipated or wanted to hear. I was a bit emotional, and become so even now when I recall the conversation.
When I announced to Dale that I couldn't paddle. Dale, also became emotional and immediately decided to delay our departure 4 - 5 days until I received the go ahead. I said "no way, there's not enough time! We only have 16 days left to complete our adventure, and there are far too many folks involved in this effort, plans are already made, and there are several long-standing inflexible deadlines for such a delay".
After some convincing, Dale reluctantly agreed to continue without me. Lane Logue, another paddler and Vicksburg River Angel was already set to paddle with us to Natchez. Several folks from Natchez were scheduled to paddle from there to St. Francisville LA. where Brad and Austin will rejoin us.
So, the bottom line: I am TEMPORARILY not on the river. I informed my wife of the situation. My brother David, who was visiting from California, picked me up in Vicksburg. I have a follow up appointment with my doctor on Monday afternoon. WITHOUT QUESTION, I WILL BE REJOINING DALE ABSOLUTELY NO LATER THAN IN VENICE POSSIBLY SOONER AND I WILL COMPLETE THE MILES I'M MISSING, WITHIN THIS CALENDAR YEAR. I appreciate all the support and encouragement we have received and encourage all to stay tuned, it's not over yet.
God Speed Richard may you be able to join us again soon.
Here's some bonus pics that Layne took on our 2-day journey. Rivergator
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.