Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two Lil' Girls in a Canoe

Goal to New Orleans: 1,859 miles
Paddled since last blog: 223 miles
Total paddled: 1,784 miles
To go: 75 miles
Current location: the Gulf!
Granola bars consumed since last blog: 16 Total: 153
Fun Size Snickers: 2 more bars Total: 53
Beignets consumed: 12
Days Paddled: 60

Before arriving in Baton Rouge, we were discussing the fact that we were getting a little tired of paddling due to the monotony of the mighty Mississippi. After Baton Rouge, the monotony ended, but we should have been careful what we wished for. The banks were filled with industry and fleets of barges solid until New Orleans 140 miles later. We also began to encounter gigantic ocean-going ships. The more complicated logistics due to this increase in river traffic decreased our pace and added more colorful radio conversations. Within this closer proximity, we were called:
. Two females in kayaks. Betcha they're more fit than we are. Think we can get a date?
. Two guys kayakin'
. They look like driftwood
. A couple of rough women
and our personal favorite:
. Two lil' girls in a canoe

Beyond New Orleans, the river traffic lessened with almost only tankers passing and overtaking. This was welcome and refreshing. It was hard to find camping, but the levees provided for public land with privacy although with the risk of flooding. Louisiana provided a hot ecosystem for gnats to thrive. Thankfully, gnats are crepuscular so Liddell could stop freaking out after dark. (YES! Discovered something that actually made Liddell freak out.)

So the "Gulf of Mexico" which we paddled to on Saturday may or may not have been Baptiste Collette Bayou.... But don't worry, we tasted the water and it may or may not have been salty.

As we reflect on the trip as a whole we could not have looked as good or won as much without the help and support of friends along the way.  We want to acknowledge and thank the following people who made this trip possible.  

Bette Fitzgerald and Mike Smith for providing boats and assorted gear
Karen Grosskreutz for 4 hours of gear R and D
Erin and Mike for their Ducky
Liz G. and James for hosting us in a fantastic basement in Asheville
Tracy, Bette, and Liz for the send off
Dock, Buckwheat, John Green, and Chrissie for paddling with us through Asheville
Team Shannon for possibly driving more miles than we paddled (with bells on)
Grandma Hruby for hosting us twice in Florence
K. Higg and Jason for hosting us in Chattanooga
Katherine Becksvoort for helping us launch in huge waves in Chattanooga
Annica for hiking to the highest point in West Tennessee with us
Callie and John David for hosting us in Memphis
McCall and Jordan for teaching us about Swamp People and hosting us in Baton Rouge
K. Doss and Andrew for showing us a good time in New Orleans
Lauren Sweeney for our favorite blog comment
Susan Lanier for being Liddell's post office box Diva
Windy and Bette for giving us insight and advice having done this trip in 1997

We also came to a big decision with the "closing" of this trip. Since we were already planning on starting the Pacific Crest Trail in San Diego in April, we're going to bike from the river to the trailhead. 2,200 miles, why not?  Look for more action from Team Broad Adventures in March.  Whoo leg muscles!

New Orleans Harbor

Ocean fog

Kara feels this way about mud

Dang!  Ships are big.

Timer mishap

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