MAY 3 TUESDAY DAY 21 ON THE WATER – I got up early and did my thing on the computer, got the Journal’s all caught up except for the pictures off of the camera. I forgot the cable in the kayak, so will have to re-post the last Journal once I can get the pictures in to it.
0444500Walked to the grocery store where the guy I met in the Laundromat last Sat AM is going to pick me up and take me out to the kayak. He picked me up at 10. I had gone in the grocery store and got Ice, some milk, yogurt and a few more sweets, seem to have a sweet tooth lately.
I had also got a speeding ticket going 35 in a 25MPH, $10 fine, so I took the time to call the Court House and get it taken care of while I was waiting for him. He was on time and I was on the water by 11:30.
You can tell a huge difference in the terrain. The shore line is different; there are sand bars everywhere and clearly not as many places to camp as there was on the Yellowstone. I am anxious to see what it is like on the lake, which I will be into tomorrow.
0-190500I have camped on the bank, not far off of the river…on sand. I think I will just have to get used to doing things differently. Every time I have stopped this afternoon, there have been moose tracks along the bank. I have been told that the moose have returned to the upper part of the Lake, hope to see some.
I have a little bit more room in the kayak this start of the trip. That will make it easier to manage the gear.
Absolutely beautiful day today, close to 80 and will stay this way for the next 3 to 5 days I guess.
I haven’t said too awfully much about my Van breaking down and the grief, stress, anxiety and expense it cost me, but nothing I can do about it and am not even going to worry about it now until I get to New Orleans which is a good 3 months from now.
0317500MAY 4 WENDSDAY DAY 22 ON THE WATER – If I would have continued on to St. Louis as planned it would have been completely stupid. Here I am almost a good 40 miles already from the Confluence and will be at 3 Bears tomorrow, which is the Indian Casino in New Town where I spent that year doing the Van Hook Truck Plaza East of New Town.
Now that I have had a chance to think all of the “bad decisions” I have made in reference to the Logistics of this trip, it is obvious I should have rented the smallest U Haul truck/van, drove to Gardnier, got the kayak and gear ready, took the truck to Livingston, hitchhiked back and just started the trip. No stopping, no driving, no flying, no worrying about leaving the kayak on the bank for days, no worrying about where I am going to leave/store the van, just get on the water.
Then once to New Orleans, break the kayak down, like I was going to have to do anyway, rent another small U Haul truck/van and drive to Havasu, just like I planned. So lesson learned for sure. Right now I don’t need to worry about it until I get to New Orleans and I will call ahead and make a reservation for a U Haul rig and just have to drive back up North to Jamestown.
Saw the 1st moose today. She was laying in the water along the bank.
0-127000Beautiful day today, it was probably in the 80’s. I had the wind behind my back for about 3 hours this afternoon, started at 8:30 and stopped at 5, long time on the water, but covered a lot of river miles.
This is an obvious total different environment as I get in to the 1st Lake which I believe is approximately 200 miles long. I have not seen one deer, not one Bald Eagle. I did see the 1st Moose however she was laying along the bank in the water and didn’t get up and take off until I was right up on her. I also saw a coyote, the first one of the trip even though I almost hear them every evening and every morning.
The place to camp are different, lots of mud to contend with and as I said about the camp last night, I will have to get use to camping out in the open now, nothing that can be done about it, it will be a continual, constant changing landscape and bank environment.
I hope to have dinner tomorrow night with Brandon, the friend of mine I know that is still in Killdeer, ND, he was the plumber on both of the Truck Plaza’s I was the superintendent on. That didn’t work out, couldn’t get to Four Bears in time, he had plans.
0127000I didn’t eat much last night, only had some peanut butter and jam in a flour tortious. Steve got me on to that, I haven’t bought a loaf of bread yet and probably won’t. I do however buy English muffins, they keep longer, don’t mash up like break and they are good for putting gravy on for breakfast and jam on for dinners.
MAY 5 THURSDAY DAY 23 ON THE WATER – What another long day yesterday. I was on the water today by 8 and paddled until 3. It was hot today, had to be in the 80’s. Lots of guys fishing in this part of the lake, of course a day like today is going to bring them out. Water has been just like glass all day long. One of the bad things about stopping this early, is it is hours before I go to sleep. Too tired to go for a walk and way too tired to sleep. The lake peddling requires a tremendous amount of energy, at least twice as much as paddling in the river. Any breeze at all can make it even worse; one doesn’t have the current to offset the breeze. I did get to see the first moose today.
0127000MAY 6 FRIDAY DAY 24 ON THE WATER – I finally got to sleep last night, just about dark. I didn’t wake up until 4:30AM. It had to be the most tired I was so far. I got up at 5:00 and was on the water at 5:45. I am getting better and not taking everything out of the boat, and for sure not brining anything more than what I need up to the tent, so it isn’t taking me as long to get the boat packed and on the water.
The wind had come up last night, coming out of the N. NW and I was on the S side of the lake, so the waves were pounding the kayak. Fortunately they had not gotten big enough to “swamp” the boat. I normally put the covers on all of the hatches and the seats, but didn’t last night because I was so tired and it was no warm.
Once on the water, it was choppy, which means I was thrown all over the place, very difficult to make any progress.
This cliff reminded me of Petra in Jordan.
I finally made it to 4 Bears Casino, which is basically New Town, ND where I Superintended the Van Hook Travel Plaza a couple of years ago, so I know this area very well. What a long paddle and I will not do that again, 9 hours in the boat, without getting out. I am way too old for that, so I am going to start tomorrow to tone this down a little bit. I have already gone close to 700 miles, maybe more.
0127000They marina here at the Casino let me camp down on the S Side of the boat ramp, out of the wind and right on the water, so all I have to do in the morning is pack up and go. I bought some maps of the rest of the lake, got ice, some misc stuff and should be good until I get to Garrisons Dam, which I figure is 4/6 days away, depending on the wind.
Once around this first dam, the river narrows out considerably and I have to think there is going to be some good current until I get to the next lake/dam which is a couple hundred miles, I think.
I ate at the Buffett and utilized their wi-fi.
No question this is an experience. The worst part is having to get off of the water for me. So far so good. No equipment issues, I am strong and feel great.