Thursday, August 2, 2012
Jim and the Rumble on the River group had a short day today - only twelve miles on the river and then on to a state park. When they arrived at their take-out point on the river, shuttles were ready to take them an additional two miles to a state park where they have a quiet space for the night. The entire state park was made available to the group, so they're not camping tent-flap to tent-flap. Jim said it was refreshing to be on top of a breezy hill. He immediately got some much-needed shut-eye after setting up his tent and dedicated the rest of the day to resting. Some of the group opted to go to a local winery on a free shuttle for a tour. Some, like Jim, decided a day of rest would be better. The catered dinner for the group tonight was, as Jim described it, a veritable feast. He particularly enjoyed the fresh salad, ice-cold lemonade and/or tea, Salisbury Steak (yes - he ate the steak!), mashed potatoes, and various desserts. The group's next two days will be longer, covering 28 and 29 miles on the river respectively. Then, they'll enjoy a dinner together celebrating their achievements, sleep in air-conditioned hotel rooms and be shuttled back to their vehicles for return to their respective homes. At that point Jim will have a 550-mile ride back home, where his two grand-daughters are excitedly waiting for him to take them camping and canoeing! The older girl spent a week at a church camp last month where she got a taste for canoeing. The younger one is anxious to learn. We'll have to find someplace safe to take the girls for water fun. A young boy died here in Oklahoma yesterday, from an amoeba infection, after swimming in a lake in the southern part of the state last week-end. We heard of several of those fatal brain infections happening to people who had been swimming in Florida ponds and canals when we lived down there. This is the first time I remember hearing of one here in Oklahoma. What is most bothersome here are blue and green algae blooms on the local lakes in the hot weather. A state-wide warning has been issued - "If it's green on top, STOP," meaning don't go in the water. All you river travelers, take care! We'll be keeping in touch with Jim via the SPOT during the day and on the phone during the evening hours. Try to keep cool - and Happy Paddling!