Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reprive from the Ordinary, Part 1.

"So, what happen this time?"
-My doctor's hot blond nurse to me this morning.

I was laying on my doctor's examination table this morning in excruciating pain wondering, "Was it worth it?"

"Hell yes!", as usual, was the answer. What's some wound-flushing and another week on antibiotics when you are an adventurer? True, I was currently deaf in the right ear, but I had complete faith medical science could fix it. Let's face it, I've seen (and felt!) them do some pretty amazing stuff.

So, let's move back 48 hours to when Misseswether let me off the short leash. We were originally planning to spend the long weekend time traveling, but at the current gas prices and food requirements we decided it cost to much (cue foreshadowing music). Misseswether had seen how hard I had been working lately and how miserable I had been inside the house. She took pity on me and agreed to let me do an over-nighter on the San Jacinto River. Due to the short notice, I wasn't able to find anyone to go with me. Misseswether was a bit nervous about letting me go alone but she trusts God will always bring me home safely. Well, maybe not safely, but intact. Hmm, maybe not completely intact, but He'll get me home in good enough shape so as to not have my money-making abilty impaired permentantly. Yeah, that's about right.

Since I was alone I took my kayak Firefly. That craft is amazing. I can load her up with all sorts of stuff and still have room for more. I swear she was designed by a Gallifreyian engineer. The launch site under 242 was filled with families celebrating the holiday and splashing once again in the river and racing up and down its banks on ATVs. It took an hour to get away from civilization. The people I passed until then were very friendly and had all sorts of questions for me. They seemed to find the idea of paddling down a river rather than just sitting in it drinking beer to be quite unique.

Finally I left the last person behind and had the river to myself. Lack or rain had left the San Jacinto a bit low and occasionally I had to get out and drag Firefly through shallow water. I didn't mind, the San Jac is a beautiful river and taking it slow just makes it better.

San Jacinto2.jpg

Occasionally the rusted hulks of old dreging machinery can be found. These are way more interesting than the burned out stolen cars along Spring Creek. Don't just take my word for it, snakes also seem to like them a lot!


It's 19 miles from the launch under 242 down to the take-out at Edgewater park, just past Hwy. 59. I had used google earth to find a nice sandbar at the half-way point on which to pitch camp that night. I didn't set out until 3pm on Sunday afternoon and the sun set at 8:30pm. Normally I can make 3-5 miles per hour, depending on flow rates, but having to drag the kayak in places slowed me down, as did trying to figure out how to haul the 2/3-full keg of beer I found floating in the river.

Let's get this party started!

Here's a tip (literally). Trying to pull a large keg of beer into a kayak will flip the kayak.

Tip #2: Trying to paddle a kayak with a keg tied to it is slow, hard work.

Tip #3: If you find yourself having to abandon a keg in the wild, just do it and don't look back. Eventually the pain will fade.

Sorry, that still part of the trip still brings tears to my eyes... *sniff*

Sorry. Okay, I'm good.

I ended up making camp on a sandbar two lines upstream from my original plan. Luckily I still had cell-phone coverage and was able to update Misseswether on the change in plans. This is an important safety issue with us. Sure, she trusts God to get me home, but that doesn't necessarily mean He won't need a helicopter to do it...

My camp: Some mosquito netting, a self-inflating sleeping pad, a silnylon tarp, and a machete. All the comforts of home!

It was a beutiful sandbar filled with petrified wood. I had finished eating my supper and was just hanging out looking for exceptional peices of petrified wood when things suddenly went real bad real fast.

Self portrait just before being attacked.

To be continued...

Coming next: Bloodshed, agony, and extremely friendly topless sunbathers.

Peace be with you!


Wildcat said...

Dang, your gonna leave us hangin right there!?!?!?! That is just wrong!


gizmojumpjet said...

Seconding wildcat's outrage. This is just wrong. Also I'm glad you're alive. But this is still wrong!

Izzy G. said...

Such suspense!