29-August-2010, Leg 2
County Road 665 to 40th Street Bridge
I have been out on the river the last two Sundays in August and have now paddled to the bridge at 40th Street. Highlights include beautiful wildflowers in bloom such as Cardinal Flower and almost constant wildlife sightings, especially the ever vigilant Belted Kingfisher. But I have had to really work to make my way down the river because of the number of downed trees. It wasn't too bad from 51st to CR 665 but then it got ugly. I had to get out of my kayak completely on 10 separate occasions between CR 665 and 40th. (That doesn't include all the logs I jumped with my mighty vessel). I was hot, tired and covered with mud when I reached the spot where the North Branch flows into the main stem. I needed to recharge my psychic batteries so I stopped there for a while, just floating at the confluence of the two streams. I felt the cold water of the North Branch merge into and mingle with the warmer water of the main stem. I watched turtles basking on logs and listened to deer snort very close by. But mainly I gazed into the clear water and watched trout flit over the gravel bar. I realized that cold, clear, clean water is what it is all about and that is the reason I am doing this in the 1st place... I remain excited about paddling down the river and plan to do the next section (called "Zululand" by the locals) as soon as I get back from a solo backpacking trip to Isle Royale.
Many thanks for your support,
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