Thursday, April 9

Last night was a noisy night caused by the animal-life in the area. It all began with a coon hound howling, causing every dog within a five-mile radius to respond. That wasn’t enough, the coon dog was all of a sudden very close to our tent – I jumped when he started to howl that close. Not long after we were serenaded by the dogs, the coyotes began to sing. Luckily, they didn’t get as close as the coon dog did. I think I would have done more than jump if they had.

Since there was rain in the forecast, we decided to pack up before eating breakfast. (ham sandwiches from Delno and Becky) We had just finished packing up when it started to rain, so we ate our sandwiches in the rain. (This is the trip!)

After enjoying our delicious breakfast, we started rolling our boats out for our long portage. Not only did we begin to roll, but so did the thunder, followed by lightning. Not wanting our boats to float away without us if the river would raise quickly, we rolled them to higher ground and took cover ourselves.

There was a break in the lightning, so we went to higher ground and set up the tent again, with plans to spend the day in the tent. As we were setting up the tent, unfortunately, but not surprisingly, we got water in it. We remembered two of the most usable, but inexpensive, things on our gear list – a sponge and towel.

Once the tent was dry and we were safely in the tent, we put up a clothesline. How can a clothes line be of any use in the rain? We put it up in the tent! While the clothes were drying and it was raining, John put on his long John – which were dry – and took a nap with MY pillow! I journaled.

Here comes the sun! I was ready to leave our quaint little tent and ventured into the very wet out doors. Once John was awake, he joined me outside and decided it was a good time to shave. (Who doesn’t shave outside after a thunderstorm?) He had just lathered his face with shaving cream and realized he didn’t have a mirror. So, picture this…. John is standing outside in his long johns with lather on his face looking a little bewildered about his predicament when we heard someone driving down towards us. Embarrassed to be caught looking like this, John ducked behind the tent. The driver of the vehicle began to honk, causing John to duck a little further behind our small two-man tent. I saw the driver and passenger and realized it was Tom and Candy Moore. John came out if hiding and immediately realized he could use the mirror on their car! Once he had finished shaving and felt comfortable with his state of undress, Candy introduced us to her son-in-law and grandson, who had been sitting quietly behind the darkly smoked windows in the backseat this entire time! Talk about great first impressions! (Candy’s son-in-law later told us he honestly thought we were homeless people.)

After they left, we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and sit outside on our small stools (everything we have is small – even my pillow). I journaled, and John played his guitar. We had barely begun, when a white truck pulled in and drove up to look at the river. John, learning to be more social, went to talk to him while I continued journaling.
After what seemed like a lengthy conversation, John came back and introduced me to Jeff Miller, who had just offered to take us around the Markle dike to our next stop so we didn’t have to walk tomorrow. Thus putting us back on schedule.

While Jeff went to get his son, Drew, we tore down the tent a second time today. Jeff arrived back with his son and a truck with a hitch extension/bracket he had built to carry a canoe. (Coincidence – I think not.) They took John’s boat first to Rock Creek, while I stayed with Drew. It seemed like they were gone forever. When Jeff came back, he explained the bridge we needed to walk over (and he had driven over just that morning) was closed and they had to take an eight-mile detour. Just think, if we had walked tomorrow, we would have walked six miles to the bridge, only to find it was closed. We couldn’t have done it! God is good!

Set up camp a second time in one day and ate sloppy joes, macaroni and cheese, and rice pudding! So yummy!

We are in bed with the hum of I-69 in background (hopefully no dogs or coyotes) Tomorrow on to Huntington Reservoir and perhaps running water so we can do laundry and somewhat bathe. The little things in life!

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