… makes you stronger. Or so the saying goes. I went exploring, today. I accidentally left my phone home, so I had no GPS or even a compass. My plan was to let the phone map my trip so I could review it, later. It would also have been nice to have a satellite image to guide me.
My first mission was to explore a tributary to Hunters Creek that I thought might give me access to a hiking trail, for future camping trips. I probably paddled about 3 miles (5km) to get to that tributary. By the time I finished exploring there, the tide was getting pretty low and I was hungry to get into some serious mud.
So, I decided I’d try to find a shortcut to bypass some of the lobes in the creek and the river I was paddling towards. I found a windy stream that I thought would connect me back to the river and cut off a good deal of the distance. I knew, at low tide, it was going to be really difficult, but I was hoping to lop 2 miles (3km) off my paddle.
Well, I dragged my boat about as far as I could through deep mud that exacted a toll on me with every step. Of course, I would have stayed on Hunters Creek if I didn’t think the slog would be worth it … if nothing else, I’d get to explore some more swamp and possibly find new places to sink.
When I found a way to return to the main waterway, I jumped on the opportunity for some easier travel. Sadly, when I got into the deeper water, I realized I had circled back to the creek about 70 meters from where I went in. I worked my ass off and gained nothing.
Oh well, the tide was still low, so I paddled to my old mud hole the easy way, and I got there in plenty of time to play in the mud for a good while before the high tide began to encroach on my fun. I changed into front and back lacing, blue shorts and proceeded to make a mess of everything.
When the incoming tide made itself obvious, I went back to the river, cleaned up and paddled back to the launch. I had no idea what time it was, but it turned out I had been out on the water for seven hours. I was exhausted, hungry, and a little dehydrated. It was a hot, sunny day, and the sun took it’s toll on me.
Since it didn’t kill me, I suppose I’ll be stronger once I recover. 🙂