Today: 8.3 miles
Trip: 1497.5 miles
Richard Grove, Steve Harris, Mike Saunders, and Joe Smith all helped get me in the water at GA 136 this morning and shuttle my car up to Castleberry Bridge. Richard and Steve put in at Steve’s house near Castleberry Bridge and spent the day clearing trees from the river. These friends had warned me that this was going to be a very tough section to travel against the current, and they were right. The 8.3 miles took me right at 6 hours to negotiate. I lost count, but I think that I was out of my boat around 15 times, wading, lifting, and pulling myself and my boat up rapids and over trees in the river. It was every bit as tough as I expected and then a little. I have a few new bruises on feet, shins, and face to show for it, but I made it!
I will almost finish the trip tomorrow. I intend to put in at Castleberry Bridge at 9:00 and paddle/drag the boat most of the 5.2 miles to Elvin and Nancy Hilyer’s house, the journey’s ending point. I will stop short of completion tomorrow because a lot of friends have asked to be present at the trip’s end. With heavy rains predicted for a couple of days after tomorrow, I decided to schedule the actual trip end for Wednesday afternoon. That will allow me to nearly finish before the river level comes back up from the expected rain, but will also allow some of my friends and supporters to be part of the journey’s culmination.