“Is he going east (on a little 600 mile side trip) to the tip of Maine or north and west toward home?”
I’ve said it before that this entire trip has become a scouting mission for the rest of my life. I’m now looking forward to a long life spent re-visiting and further exploring all of the places I’ve only passed by. Of course with nothing to do but think all day (all the while holding a kayak paddle) my mind has wandered toward other trips and places I’d like to see by kayak some day. The Missouri River the Ohio River and Lake Superior to name but a few. I had worried that by passing up a chance to complete the rest of the East Coast, I may run the risk of never getting back here with time and resources to finish it. However, I know that this trip is not the end of my paddling adventures… it’s just the beginning… and I will be back.
I’m now going to be concentrating on the core of what the Portage to Portage Paddling Project is all about… getting back to Portage. Now, however, I will have plenty of time to cover the 1450 miles that separate me from Portage, and the 500 miles more that will close up the gap (from Boscabel, WI to St. Louis) that arctic storms forced into the trip last winter. Instead of being a race against impending autumn storms on the Great Lakes, I will now be able to take my time and thoroughly enjoy the first summer I’ve spent in northern latitudes in years. Already the lush green trees and rolling hills in New York are reminding me of Wisconsin, it’s going to be a great summer spent paddling through a region that feels like home.
Not only will it not be a race, although my mom would disagree, I’m actually at risk of finishing up the trip too early. If I was to keep on cruising along at my normal pace I could wash up on the riverbank in St. Louis by mid August, long before the mid September I had originally planned. For that reason I believe you may be seeing the pace of this trip change a bit over the next couple months while I deliberately slow down and enjoy every day for all it’s worth.
Thank you to everyone that had offered assistance to me if I did choose to paddle up the New England coast, I really appreciate the generosity. Hopefully, when I do return to finish the East Coast we may have a chance to cross paths and meet in person. I guess I’ll see you then.
Another plan that’s in the works is a rendezvous with Otto Herrmann (the 16 year old kayak phenom. from San Diego that works at Aqua Adventures). Otto is coming out with his dad Larry to visit family in Rochester NY and more importantly to join me on the Erie canal to share in the adventure for a few days while he gets his first kayak camping experience.