Friday, June 26, 2015 (guest author, John)
High – 88
Low – 74
Skies: Scattered showers and thunderstorms
The rain poured on the river a few yards away, but as has happened so many times on this trip, we were missed.
Our campsite tonight is ridiculously perfect. (See Instagram @ Separateboats) A huge sandbar with just enough groves of willow near the river to allow us to grab some shade. Our tent is perched on a flat sand bluff just feet from the river. The bluff is on the head of Shreeve’s bar and looks upstream where we just came from. The river splits here, and we can view both the main channel and the chute while eating dinner from the comfort of our camp stools. The center of the island is wooded. A coyote was walking the beach when we approached, and ran into the forest, throwing curious glances over his shoulder.
We rose at 4:00 am and were on the water by 6:15. We had ambitions to make up for yesterday’s short day by getting in at least 30 miles today, but a forecast of afternoon thunderstorms threatened to prevent that from happening.
There was a lot of drift on our paddle today, even more than the recent usual. Between dodging the floating trees and some moderate tow traffic, it was anything but dull. We had made almost 20 miles when we decided to stop at a remote boat ramp for a break. There were rumbles of thunder and dark clouds moving in from the west, which indicated we may need to be off the river.
We arrived at the boat ramp just behind Damon and Kathy, who had also pulled off the river to make sure the approaching storm wouldn’t catch them in their powered john boat. (See Instagram @ separateboats) They had been on the river in search of interesting trees, particular cedar and cyprus. Damon works a construction company and uses the wood to build beautiful rustic furniture and decor. They immediately offered us some water (almost all private individuals we meet on the river offer water.) They said they lived near and could spare it so we gladly accepted the six bottles to supplement our supply until Baton Rouge. Damon told us about Shreeve’s bar downstream and indicated it was still well above the flood waters and might offer us an option for camping.
After a quick break and nice chat with our new friends, they headed back out into the river and we soon followed. About 4 miles downstream the skies closed in all around and LaNae and I headed across to the left bank to take shelter and check the radar. (See Instagram @ separateboats) It appeared that the squall, that was by now pouring on us, would soon pass and we’d have a window of opportunity to make a push to Shreeve’s bar, which was another 11 miles downstream. Sure enough we made the bar and found it to be a great place to camp, especially since the forecast indicated we might be here a while tomorrow.
Dinner cooked and eaten, we washed up in the river and then took a walk down the dunes, which cut a path laterally through the wooded island. Wow, this is a beautiful place. (See Instagram @ separateboats)
As the sun began to set, it was time to use the 1 bar of “barely there” cell service to get some work done. A high priority is to determine our end point. Would we stop in New Orleans or go the additional 100 miles to the official “mile 0”. Obviously we’d like to complete the entire distance, however, the flooding keeps us nervous about moving past the civilization of New Orleans to 12 miles beyond Venice. We need to make a decision very soon so we can give plenty of notice to the friends coming to pick us up. What to do, what to do?
Thanks for following our adventure. For photos and videos of the events mentioned in this daily journal, check us out on Instagram @ separateboats.
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