Pattison on Wheels

Friday, April 18, 2008

4-18-08: Miles To Go

I slept for twelve hours. I think this is good. I noticed yesterday afternoon that my hand seemed steadier than usual when taking photos. Maybe the exercise, the peace, or tiredness. Maybe all three.

As you might expect there are biting insects in these swamps. I use lots of repellent and soon learn any spots I’ve missed. They are not bad on the river at all but they favor certain times and conditions on the backwaters I love to explore. I got the place and time perfectly during this mornings’s toilet. I never thought to spray my butt though I will in future.

A human in a little motor boat came into the slough where I’m camped. He seemed to be getting something from the banks. Traps?

I got moving on the river by eleven. I stopped for lunch around noon and took this photo which somewhat suggests the tea colored water that is called black water and it does look black in the shade. Then I paddled for five more hours. There was one place with fast water that was beautiful and challenging and the rest was just beautiful. I wouldn’t have pushed myself quite so much but I wanted to get past the Highway 21 bridge (where most people start this trip) and into the stretch below which is reputed to be some of the best. I also wanted to know where I was and how fast I was going. The map I have for the river starts at Highway 21 and the guidebook gives vague information. Below the bridge there are wood duck houses with big numbers indicating miles from the sea. They start at 103.

I stopped at the bridge to buy eggs and bread from the convenience store there. Then I went two miles downstream at, it turns out, three miles per hour. I soon found a little inlet and ducked in and ate six scrambled eggs with toast. Tired.


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