APRIL 22 FRI DAY 13 ON THE RIVER – Because of the way the website software works, it is difficult to put more than 2MB on at a time, that is the reason for Journal #2-1 … #2-2…#2-3, It is just the way I am going to have to do it. It is the pictures and then I have to resize them. But I am getting on to it.
It has been a very long day for me today. I was up before the sun was up on the water, in anticipation of getting into Miles City and accomplishing what I wanted to. I got to the bridge/boat ramp at about 9:30 and was in having a quick vegie sandwich at a deli by 10:30; it was about a 1 mile walk.
Then I went to the library and got frustrated on trying to “figure out” the website, something I should have done before leaving Bend and spent more time with Kathy. But I didn’t. I did what I could do, went out and walked around town trying to find somebody. That endeavor was not successful. I went back to the library ready to call it quits and asked some of the young kids at the computers if they knew this “software”, can’t think of the name of it now, that Kathy used to re-do the website. Sure enough one of the girls did. A couple of hours later, she had at least clued me in and I gave her $40 for helping me, she was thrilled.
Then I walked another 1 mile or more to go to Wal Mart and get a few things. I had lost the first hat a couple of days ago, didn’t have it under my chin and a gust of wind blew it off and it sunk before I could get to it. Had a subway sandwich about 5:00 and called a taxi to take me back to where I had the kayak. I don’t worry about leaving during the day, I try to pick spots where there are a lot of people, and that makes it fairly safe. In all of the trips I have done I have never had my gear molested.
Once back on the river I only paddled about an hour and have found a great spot. Once again, like last night I am really tired. It is not the paddling or being on the water in the sun, it is the going to town. I hate it, I always have and once I get to Havasu Landing I swear I am only going to go to town once a month, if then. I can pretty much get everything I need right there without going to Needles or around to Havasu City.077978000
The weather is changing once again. It was mid 80’s today, I think tomorrow or the next day it is going to be in the 40’s. I have approximately 2 days to Glen Dive, then another 2 days to Sidney, then it is just another day to the Confluence, depending on weather, but I think that is what will take place.
When one thinks about it, to do the entire Yellowstone River, what can be done since you can’t paddle in the Yellowstone Park, in less than 3 weeks is almost anti-climactic. If I could figure out a way to get my kayak and gear back I would just do it again but not this time.
APRIL 23 SAT DAY 14 ON THE RIVER –I wore out today. Wind was blowing when I got up before 6 and hasn’t stopped all day. Probably around 20/25MPH and it is just enough to make it tough. I paddled almost 5 hours and bet I didn’t go 5 miles, but that is going to be expected at times. I actually probably over did it. My thumbs are bothering me let alone some sore upper arm muscles. I don’t think it matters how much one paddles, he is still going to get sore and be sore.
057150000A female beaver kept me awake half of the night, scolding me once again for camping in her spot where she gets up on the bank and cuts down the young willows. Fortunately I am sleeping well.
At this rate, if the wind continues it will take be 4/5 days to get to Glendive, but it doesn’t make any difference. Hopefully the wind won’t be blowing in the morning.
I don’t know what kind of snake this is, but it is big enough that I wouldn’t want it to be in the tent when I wake up in the morning. One of the many reasons I take the time to put the tent up, let alone the mosquitos that are starting show up, got bit twice last night before I got up and zipped the front of the tent up. Won’t be long and the mosquitos will be a daily/nightly nuisance.
Good spot to camp for the afternoon and night, out of the wind, no I-90 noise and all I hear is the birds/pheasants/the fish jumping and the river.
APRIL 24 SUN DAY 15 ON THE RIVER – No fun today that is/was for sure. It rained and blew all night. I thought about just staying in the tent for the day, which is not my first choice by any means. There appeared to be a break in the storm, which I went ahead and got camp broke down, the kayak packed and proceeded down river. I wasn’t on the water 30 minutes and lightening, thunder, hail, snow and way too much rain pounded me for 3 hours until I was completely wet, everything in the kayak was wet and I just couldn’t take any more. Plus the wind had come back up and my hands were so cold that it was all I could do to get things out of the kayak and the tent set up. My rain jacket didn’t work with a darn either
01968500It has taken a couple of hours, but I have managed to get the things dried out that I need for tomorrow. I have good cell reception, checked the weather and it is not supposed to rain much if at all tomorrow. Everything else will just have to wait until it warms up to get dried out. Doesn’t look like any sun for the for see able future.
My sleeping bag/bedding is damp but not wet so I am fortunate there. I have used my one burner cooking stove to get this stuff dried out, it works well. I cut a couple of long green willows to make a “support” for inside the tent that tightens it up, plus it has worked good for hanging stuff on to dry out. Fortunately I brought along 5 green propane bottles and have only used 2 since putting on the water and haven’t used up the 3rd one yet drying things.
I should make it almost to, or to or past Glendive tomorrow, which means on Thursday I should be to the Confluence.
It could be worse. I am just lacking a few things to make any weather that I encounter bearable and will plug these holes. Month of May anything can happen as I proceed down the first 3 lakes/and traverse the 3 dams that are in front of me on the Missouri. June is a different story. I expect warm/hot weather and for sure into July and the 1st couple of weeks in August if that is what it takes to complete the Mississippi.
0-127000I am really hopping tomorrow is a much more enjoyable day and I can make up some miles that I have lost these last couple of days.
APRIL 25/26 MON/TUES DAY 16/17 ON THE RIVER – Boy what a couple days of relentless weather. It has pretty much rained most of the time. I did get up Mon earlier than expect and got things packed up and on the river. It was quite an experience, but fortunately the wind was not blowing just a breeze that lasted pretty much all day. It quit raining and with the breeze it wasn’t half bad.
Still lots of eagles, beaver sign, always the wild turkeys, deer, ducks, geese and the pheasants. I am starting to see some baby goslings, but not many. Monday night I had a herd of horses that were not happy that I was camped where I was and the stud kept approaching the tent and letting me know I was not welcome. I finally got up with the flash light and ran him off. He didn’t go far, I heard him whinnying and grunting all night long.
There were also some wild turkeys that flew into roost in the trees right above me, first time that has happened, I had no trouble waking up early because they are pretty much just like chickens/roosters crowing in the morning.
I also had the privilege of seeing “I think it was a wild goat” up on the cliffs overlooking the river.
0-63500Once again the place I camped Monday night was not bad. It was a ways off of the river bank, but that is what it takes. Fortunately I found enough dry stuff and wood to have a good hot fire, got things needed dried out again and had a good night’s sleep.
I was on the water by 7:15 Tues morning and paddled hard until 1:00 arriving at Glendive which was my goal for the day.
After spending 4 hours in town, having a Veggie Pizza, charging my phone, going to Albertsons and picking up a few things, I was back on the river in a driving rain. I took a good hour to get out of town and away from the traffic noise and have once again, camped up off the bank in the trees. I have a feeling I will hear the beaver smacking their tails once again letting me know they are not happy, because they have been very active right where I have set my tent up.
It is a lot of work at the end of a long day to get camp set up, especially when it is raining, but once it is done it is worth it. It is also a lot of work at the beginning of the day, but both endeavors have some benefits. In the morning it gets me moving and walking back and forth from the camp site to the kayak to get it packed. At the end of the day, after sitting in the kayak all day, it gets my circulation going and really makes a big difference. Besides one couldn’t do this trip the way I am without it happening.
To anyone that has camped this way, day after day, they can relate to how nice it is to be warm, safe, dry and listen to the rain hitting the top of the tent, while drinking a hot cup of tea and eating a freshly baked blackberry scone.
For my 17 day on the water, I find myself very content, getting stronger as the days go by from the paddling and have not one second of wondering why I have taken this little voyage on. Nor do I doubt, as long as my health holds up, that I will complete it.