The day started good, though cold. It went from 26 all the way up to 34 during the afternoon. Three to five inch icicles hung from branches at every rapid or limb in the river generating splashes.
Just after I passed I-575 in Canton, my beloved ZRE carbon fiber paddle broke. This is no reflection on the paddle, but it is a reflection on the incredible abuse that I have given the paddle over many years. I had long ago worn the epoxy coating off the edge of the blade—had even resurfaced it with epoxy once, just not recently enough. The paddle blade delaminated, ending up looking like a duck with its mouth open. It was worse than useless since I got splashed when this happened right in the middle of paddling up a small rapid. I had brought Kathy’s kayak paddle as a spare, but I learned today just how wet you can get paddling with too short a kayak paddle. My clothes were soaked and I was getting a bit hypothermic before it was all over. I will paddle upriver a few miles in the morning and be met by my good friend, Richard Grove. I will spend a few days re-equipping and then finish up the trip.