I had been gearing up through this spring to get back on the water this week up on Lake Huron but I have had some last minute changes involving finances so I will be unable to finish the last leg of the tour at this time. I have no idea what the future holds but perhaps I will be able to finish part or all of the Loop in the years to come. For now I will leave the website up and perhaps update it occasionally with new pictures I find or new stories I remember from the trip. I want to thank again all the people that helped make this trip possible and all of the friendly faces that encouraged me along the way. It was the adventure of a lifetime! :)
After spending over a week on the Illinois River I pulled out on Friday for personal reasons and came home. In light of that the changing seasons have also begun to close my weather window for the year. My plan is to relaunch next June and finish the tour in its entirety. I would like to thank every single person that has helped me to this point in my adventure, whether financially, giving me a roof over my head or a bed to sleep in and the countless meals ive eaten with strangers and friends while on the "trail". I will be catching up all blog posts, pictures and any other items needed on the website over the next few weeks before going on a break from all my social online activity through the fall and possibly into the winter. I'll start letting ya'll know the details of the relaunch in the spring. Thanks! :)
Fall winds on the great lakes have caught up with me, so my dad is picking me up tomorrow; monday i am driving to somewhere south of chicago to relaunch and finish the rivers section of the tour and next summer i will come back to finish lake huron and lake michigan. I will post more info this coming week.
Video of my paddle up the St. Clair River on Saturday and Sunday
I'm currently on the St. Claire River battling some monster currents to get into Lake Huron. This is a post that I will come back and re-update when I get a chance, but it's got a video, so that's good. This video is my post for last week. I will get the two weeks before it and this week updated as soon as possible.
I got back on the water monday in cleveland with my new kayak and gear. After two and a half days im still workin out the kinks with all the new gear. Im currently between huron and cedar point on lake erie and expect to be in toledo thursday night or sometime friday. I'll update all the details from the past two weeks this weekend. Til then, here are some pics of the new rig in action!
My fiance Karin picked me up for a few days off and to pick up my new kayak, an Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.7, which got delayed from this past friday to yesterday. I've been so occupied that I forgot to update on here, so thats what I've been up to.
Weekly Mileage: 145
Total Mileage: 4,010
Sunday I woke up to some thunderstorms that weren't in the forecast and had to sit around until 10:30. I finally got on the water and paddled until that evening when I found a little beach to camp on. This end of Lake Erie has lots of cliffs and bluffs lining the shore, a lot different than the flat western end of the lake that i'm familiar with.
Monday I paddled out of New York and into Pennsylvania. I didn't make great time so I got off the water a little earlier than I have been lately. I camped on a beach down from a couple cottages and a guy came down, curious about what I was up to and he ended up letting me charge my phone and battery packs in his barn.
I paddled past Erie, PA on Tuesday and ended up camping about 7 miles from the Ohio state line.
Wednesday I crossed into Ohio mid morning and made decent time until mid afternoon. Between two and three the wind came up in my face hard and I pulled into the harbor at Ashtabula and stopped at a fishing marina where the guy let me charge some stuff while I waited for the wind to die down. I made it back on the water around 6:30 and made it to the Redbrook Boat Club and marina just after sunset. Nobody was around so I camped under one of the picnic shelters for the night.
Thursday I made it to the outskirts of Cleveland and camped on small beach near a small town.
Friday I paddled into Cleveland late in the afternoon and was picked up by a family friend, Bill Decker. I stayed with his family that night and showered and did laundry before they treated me to dinner.
Today my fiance Karin picked me up at the Decker's house for a few days off. While off the water I've got a couple of changes brewing so be sure and check back in next weekend for those changes!
Weekly Mileage: 140
Total Mileage: 3,865
Sunday I left Lock 28b in Newark, NY and had a good day of paddling. I made it to lock 33 in Pittsford and camped there at the lock. The last part of the day was spent paddling through the outskirts of Rochester. I was camped near a bike trail that night and before dark a lady stopped to talk and after finding out what I was up to, she offered to wash my dirty laundry at her house that was nearby. Around eleven that night she brought back my clean laundry and a container of warm brownies!
Tuesday I paddled the southern edge of Rochester, NY and made it to the Adam's Basin lift bridge. The wind started whipping straight down the canal this afternoon at 20-30 mph so I pulled up to the canal wall at the lift bridge and camped at a little picnic area. The lift bridge control tower was nearby so I found an outlet to charge my phone and a hose to take a shower with.
Wednesday I made it to Albion, NY and docked my kayak at the town mooring area on the canal. I changed into some dry clothes and made a 2.5 mile hike to the WalMart outside of town for groceries. It was a long walk back with all my groceries, but I eventually made it and camped there near the town dock.
Thursday I got an early start and made decent time. I had a touring bicycler from Maine stop and talk to me that morning name Daniel. I made a rather long day of it and made to Lockport, where I went through a double stacked lock, which are the last two locks to get into Lake Erie. The lockmaster, John, was super nice and let me camp near the lock, use the lock house shower and fill my water bags. That night I had storms and lots of rain but luckily it didnt get too severe like the forecast had said.
Friday morning I hung around until mid morning, waiting to see what the weather would do. I finally took off and it rained for a short time before just drizzling for the better half of the day. The wind also picked up and it was a kind of frustrating day but I exited the canal mid afternoon and entered the Niagara River. I made it to Mid River Marina where I had some packages waiting. The marina guys were real nice and let me hang my hammock under an aluminum picnic shelter for the night. I also got a shower and rested for the evening. It rained hard twice after dark.
Saturday I paddled up the Niagara River and entered Lake Erie, going right past downtown Buffalo. The water has gotten really clear since leaving the canal and it kind of feela like I'm back on the ocean. I made it to Sturgeon Point marina, a public marina where they let me tie my kayak behind the fuel dock and camp for the night.
Weekly Mileage: 157
Total Mileage: 3,725
Sunday I ended up taking the day off at the St Johnsville Marina to rest and wait out the rain that came down all afternoon. I did find a church to go to that morning and the day off was nice since I hadn't had a break since June 31.
Monday I got back on the water and had a decent day of paddling. As I came out of Lock 18, a guy waved me down and launched a kayak to join me on the canal. His name was Brad Morse and he has been following my trip for quite awhile. He paddled with me all the way to the town of Ilion, NY and told me all sorts of interesting things. Ilion is the home of Remington Firearms and has factory tours, but unfortunately I was unable to stop. I said goodbye to Brad around 5 and kept paddling. I eventually stopped at Lock 19 at a little floating dock and hun my hammock by the canal.
Tuesday I got in another full day and made it all the way to the entrance of Oneida Lake at Sylvan Beach. I found a nice pullout spot for the night but had to be careful of all the poison oak and ivy. I got a small thunderstorm around dark, but nothing serious.
Wednesday was a long day. I got an early start and crossed Oneida Lake, which is over twenty miles long. When I got back in the canal, I went through a lock with another looping boat, the "Golden", and met Mike and Paige. They offered me food, which I couldn't refuse, so I ended up with a balogna, cheese and tomato sandwich, a cold pepsi and a baggy of peanut butter filled pretzels. After saying goodbye, I paddled the rest of the evening and into the night, all the way to eleven o'clock. I found a nice park to camp at on satellite images and was in bed by midnight.
Thursday I got another early start and passed the "Golden" docked at the first lock. Around noon they passed me again and as they went by they slowed down and Mike was waving more peanut butter filled pretzels at me. After taking on more pretzels, we said goodbye again and they promised me a hot shower if I caught them again this week. The rest of the day was cloudy and drizzly and I camped below Lock 25 this evening at a nice mown area with trees and a picnic table.
Friday it was lightly raining around seven so I went back to sleep...and didnt get up til sometime after noon. So I took yesterday off and ate, then slept, ate then slept. It was nice. And the lockmaster let me charge my batteries at the lockhouse.
Today I got back on it and this morning was nice. This afternoon was a test though, just one thing after another. I had over an hour wait at Lock 27 because noone would answer the phone. I took a chunk out of my knuckle on my pinky finger on my left hand reaching for something in my boat and by the time I got to my last lock of the day I had a bad headache and my hammock is one street over from some idiot that has his car parked and blairint bass. So that was my week and if this bass doesn't stop soon I'm goin over there...