Got up at 0500 this am to paddle 22 miles today. It was overcast, same as past two days, which had also been very windy. Was hoping the early start would be somewhat wind free. It was…for the first 30 minutes. Paddled by an island where the Adventuritus Productions crew was waiting to video the paddle through. All was well there, but from that point to the dam was another story.
All of a sudden a blast of wind that turned my boat sideways. Conditions deteriorated quickly. Clearly, rain was on the horizon. I had to hug the coast line which normally gives some protection be with the wind directly up river not even that worked. With difficulty, I made it to the Dam a little before 1000. I would not be able to leave the Blanchard Dam area for almost six hours.
Started my portage routine where I calculated that it would take me five trips to get all of my gear down to the put in. I had just dropped off the first load when the sky fell. There I was with stuff on both ends unprotected from theft possibility and weather. I was tired, cold, and alone. As Richard said, “This is the mother of all portages”. It took the better part of two hours to get everything down in the rain, including the boat.
Tom Graves eventually located a RV Park three miles downriver, so we stuffed all the wet stuff into our boats and paddled. Fortunately, there was a large Pavilion where we pitched tents and began to dry stuff out. We now are fourteen miles short on our day 20 goal.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.