I wanted to get in a decent number of miles today based on the campsite spacing, so I got up early and was on the water by first light. It was very twisty in this area so lots of mindless paddling.
There were lots of chairs in the area, indicating all the private river frontage. At some point I had to stop and pee so on a turn that looked to have no one there, and a landable beach, I hopped out. As soon as I paddle slightly further down the river I realized I basically went on someone’s lawn. The tall grass and the height difference had obscured their house. Oh well.
The river meanders north until it takes a hard turn west. To the east you can see the oxbow that would empty the flood diversion channel, and the river widens a bit and becomes shallow and rocky. I definitely scraped my boat a few times. I also saw the first of several military planes. I was getting close to the base.
I kept an eye out for Lone Pine campsite. It was around halfway for the day and between the heat, and the building fatigue of a long trip, I needed a rest. I never did see it. The locations on the DNR maps are a bit suspect.
Instead, I stayed in the boat to the next trailer access a few miles down. I had scoped this out before on Google Maps. Just on the other side of the river (there was a highway bridge) was a bar restaurant. I had a fantastic ribeye sandwich and copious amounts of Mt Dew.
As I got back to the landing, a couple was there looking for crayfish. Since they asked, I told them I hadn’t seen any there, but that I wasn’t looking. We chatted for a few and they seemed interested in the long trip. I had miles to make though, and not much time to dilly dally.
As I got close to the campsite for the night, I checked the map again to see the exact mileage. It was a little ways yet and on the left. Strange, because for some reason I had thought all day that it was on the right. I saw a sign saying the campsite was 300 yards. This turned out to be nonsense.
I closely watched the left bank for the campsite sign, but nothing. I had gone way more than 300 yards by now. I check the map again. It says left, but the dot in clearly on the right, and I also hadn’t passed it yet. I paddled a bit further.
In this final stretch I guess I made a beaver mad and he gave me a big tail slap. I took my paddle and slapped the water back. Not sure why I found that necessary, but maybe I just don’t talk to enough people? Haha.
I finally see a high, failing retention wall followed by a boat ramp. I was there. The ramp was blocked by heavy rice and also dropped off sharply. This made it a pain because I had to back out from my straight on approach and then come in at an angle through the rice.
There were stairs that led to an overgrown camping area, but I didn’t see a privy. The trail I followed ended up taking me back to the access road instead. Seeing nothing suitable and not finding a privy anyway, I decided I’d just camp on part of the dirt turn-around. I left my boat on the ramp, since I was pretty sure no one ever used it.
It will probably come as no surprise, but the mosquitos were absolutely terrible. I crawled in my tent and went to sleep.
Total Mileage: 324.6
Today’s Audio: How Propaganda Works by Jason Stanley