Saturday, July 4, 2015
High – 89
Low – 77
Skies – Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.
Winds – SW 5-10
Today was a whirlwind of a day! We started out at a bridge above New Orleans and ended our day at a quasi boat ramp (looks a little like a dump.) below New Orleans. In the midst of all this we stopped briefly in New Orleans.
I’ll start at the beginning….. Our day began at the usual 4:00 am, followed by breakfast and packing the boats. We were almost ready to put our boats in the water when two cyclists stopped to talk with us. They were very interested in our story and offered to bring us water. We said we were already set to pick up some water in New Orleans, but thank you. Phil took a picture of us paddling away from our previous night’s home.
Now the paddle into New Orleans. I have to admit I was NOT looking forward to all the ship, tow, and tug traffic, along with the waves they create. Thankfully, the traffic was negligible, which caused a decrease in the waves as well. I don’t know if the change is because it’s Saturday, 4th of July, or a combination of both, but I welcomed the reprieve.
A. J. Foret greeted us at the well-known wooden steps just outside the French Quarter with two gallons of water. We “parked” our boats by the steps and indicated our need to find a restroom. He was gracious enough to guard our boats. His instructions were, “Cross the street, go up the steps, and take the required post card picture of St. Louis Cathedral. Then go down the steps to the left. Take a right and the restroom is right there.” Off we went. (See Instagram @ separateboats.)
So in fifteen minutes, we took the picture of the cathedral ,went to the restroom, took pictures down the street of the French Quarter, enjoyed our first beignet, and returned to the boats. (The beignet was fabulous, by-the-way!) When we returned to the boats, we filled our water supply, said good-bye and thank you to A. J., and shoved off. We arrived in New Orleans at 8:30 and left at 9:30, having performed many tourists duties in that time! (See Instagram @ separateboats.)
With New Orleans checked off our list, our next milestone is to reach Venice. Eighty-five miles, possibly accomplished in two and a half days. Our goal is to be there by Monday night and on to mile 0 on Tuesday. Of course, as always, this depends on the weather.
After paddling 25 miles, the sky began leaking and we could hear the forecasted thunder. So, the stressful task of finding a campsite. Luckily, it only took us three miles and crossing the river twice to find a spot – a quasi boat ramp. This is the trashiest spot we have seen, with shotgun shells, shotgun shell boxes, beer cans, bottles, plastics red cups, oil filter, etc. (See Instagram @ separateboats.) However, with the swollen river, we feel very fortunate to have found this place. We may only have to search for a spot one more time!
We quickly set up the tent so we wouldn’t have to huddle under the tarp. Once everything was set up, we sat down on our stools and ate a snack, while waiting for the storm to materialize. Today we were prepared for a forecasted storm, and it totally missed us. The last couple of times we were not prepared for the unforecasted storms that drenched us. Hmmm…..
After a whirlwind of a day, it is good to relax. Tonight we will climb into our tent, apply clothes pins where the zipper has failed, and lay on our sleeping bags, while trying not to scratch our itching mosquito bites, fly bites, ant bites, who-knows-what-kind-of insect bites, and poison ivy. Why does everything itch more at night?
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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