Tuesday, July 31, 2012
30 July - Finally, some sleep. Jim was finally able to get some much-needed rest. He only heard trains twice during the night, even though camped within yards of the gated rail crossing. It had been a long day, after no sleep the night before - thanks to noisy motorcycles being ridden non-stop through the group's campsite. That lack of sleep was common to the entire group. Three more capsizes were experienced by group members during this day, one near a wing dam with two-foot swirling waves and two when tired paddlers attempted to get back into their canoes after a lunch break. That break had been taken at a point on the aptly named Muddy River. Jim got partway out of Ibi and immediately sank thigh-deep in sucking mud. Then he was caught with one foot mired below and one foot still in the canoe. YIKES! We've all probably seen pictures of someone doing the split, caught between a pier and a vessel rapidly leaving that same pier. That is the situation in which Jim found himself. It took some effort for him to finally get back into Ibi and get the mud washed off. Thank goodness for Ibi's stability! Two other unlucky paddlers in the group capsized while attempting to relaunch their canoes off slippery mud banks. When the group reached Chamois they found themselves at a very small boat ramp and only one canoe at a time could be taken out. That meant the entire group had to wait for quite a while to finally have a chance to stretch their legs and then carry their boats and gear up the hill. When Jim got his turn he found his legs didn't want to work too well - he was suffering cramps from being in the boat so long. Then, to add insult to injury, he learned that dinner was kielbasa, after having pulled pork sandwiches the night before. For most people that wouldn't pose any problem at all. However, Jim chose years ago not to eat any pork or beef, and sticks to poultry, fish, and protein-rich meat substitutes. On these two nights, though, he forgot dietary preferences and wolfed down the pig-origin meals with gusto. After all, a mans' got to do what a mans' got to do, right??? The group will have a longer paddle on Monday, in what is predicted to be record-breaking heat, stopping at the little town of Hermann. Let's hope they don't camp near the airport approaches.