Sunday, April 26, 2015
Slept great last night with a real pillow under my head. (I’m sure it won’t fit in the boat!)
Packed the kayaks, ate an egg sandwich that was provided by the Davises and headed to the river in Clinton. Upon arriving at the boat ramp, there were a couple of gentlemen there to see us off, whom we had met when we arrived. (How does everyone know what is going on – small town…..?) It was JD and his friend John. These gentlemen had lost a homemade houseboat when the ice went out and jokingly said “keep an eye out for it”. Well, they had described it to us earlier so we will indeed keep an eye out for it! John and Mark got the boats out of the trailer and ready for the water. Now to those who we had said hello with a hand shake yesterday, we said good-bye with a hug today. New friends….. like minds….
We paddled on this beautiful day, fifteen miles to Terra Haute, Indiana. The air was crisp, the sun was shining, and the wind was at our backs! We couldn’t ask for more perfect conditions.
Eagle count today was seven eagles and two nests.
Another “just happened to be” (a common occurrence anymore) meeting at the Terra Haute boat ramp occurred. We just got our boats situated and were ready to find the restroom, (almost always one of the first things we do after we dock) when a couple walked up and asked what we were doing. We explained our trip. The gentlemen said to his wife, “Sounds like a story.” We didn’t think much of it until she told us she was with the Terra Haute Tribune Star. She said she was going to make a few phone calls. The couple left, we found the restroom, and returned to gather our lunches when the couple had returned. They were concerned we would leave before another on-duty reporter could arrive. The woman was just ready to do a video clip when a photographer arrived. While we gave a video clip interview, the reporter shot many pictures. It has been amazing how much publicity we have encountered (this makes nine interviews and ten newspapers) without calling a single newspaper. I pray this publicity will enhance the awareness of The Fortress charity!
After the media left, we ate our lunch while watching a game of Cricket. Does anyone really understand this game?
We had just finished eating, when Del and Becky Abnet, John’s brother and sister-in-law arrived with their dog Cocoa, a donation for The Fortess, pencils, and two freeze-dried ice cream bars.(which really are pretty good) To make the afternoon even better, Del went to Starbucks and returned with coffee and warm chocolate chip cookies. We drank the coffee, ate the wonderful cookies, and shared one of the ice cream bars. Yum! John’s brothers have all been very helpful and supportive .
Soon after our treats were enjoyed, the on-duty reporter from the Tribune Star arrived to do an official interview.
After the second interview of the day and enjoying the beautiful park a while longer with Del and Becky, we put our boats in the water again in search of a place to camp for the night. We found a place three miles downstream. The bank appeared easy to get out on – it was easy to pull up. However, the mud/muck/mire was the worst we have encountered yet. It seemed like quick sand, with each step causing your foot to sink to within an inch of the top of your boot, thus causing anxiety when you pulled up your foot that your boot may not follow.
Then (as John would put it) made our first serious error.mWhen John went to get our multi-tool and our two Petzl headlamps, he could not locate any of them. He was immediately angry with himself because he knew he had moved the boats in haste yesterday and had not put everything in its specific location (a must on a trip like this and something John preaches). After a frustrating search he gave up for the night.
As usual, John posted a marker (stick) at the edge of the water (to keep an eye on level changes). All needed gear unloaded (except for the “missing” items), tent set up, dinner of black-eyed pea soup and rice pudding eaten, and ready to sleep.
What “just happened to be” event will we experience tomorrow?