David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
04/12  Most boring trip ever?
04/13  Muddy Pecatonica
04/14  Say Yes to Drugs
04/15  Add a little Sugar and Rock
04/16  Worst campsite ever.
04/21  Island Of Honking Geese
04/22  Hennepin Feeder Canal
04/23  Locks, sand and muck
04/28  Henry
04/30  No Current on Peoria Lake
05/01  Industry and Locks
05/02  Rain and Eagles
05/04  Half-Way on the Illinois
05/05  Medium-Rare Meatloaf
05/06  Always Pepsi-Cola
05/08  Onto the Mississippi
05/09  St. Louis
05/10  Short Day
05/12  Barge Full of Rocks
05/13  Between Green and Red
05/14  Now comes the hard part
05/15  Metropolis
05/18  Tennessee River
05/19  No Lock For You
05/20  Snakes
05/21  New Johnsonville
05/25  Day of the Mayflies
05/26  Look, Another Cliff
05/27  Rotund Sunburns
05/28  Free Heron
05/30  Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
05/31  Bay Springs Lake
06/01  Locks are for the Patient
06/02  Tombigbee
06/06  Bamboo and Palmettos
06/07  Dry in AlaBAMa
06/08  Cutting Corners
06/09  Another day on the river
06/10  Demopolis
06/15  Hardest Portage Ever
06/16  Hot Rocky Beaches
06/17  First Alligator
06/18  Last Dam
06/19  Tide
06/20  Trashy Beaches
06/21  Just paddling down Interstate 10
06/27  Salty
06/28  Intracoastal Waterway
06/29  Come Sail Away
06/30  Peddling Along
07/01  Panama City
07/07  The Gulf of Mexico
07/08  Peacocks by the Sea
07/11  No Wind
07/12  Actually Sailing
07/13  Tacking
07/14  Steinhatchee
07/19  As sudden as ever
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Worst campsite ever.


tl;dr: All night long the wind attempted to destroy my tent. All day long the wind attempted to destroy my soul.

It turns out camping on an island is a really stupid idea when the forecast calls for 25 mph winds with gusts up to 40 mph all night long. After a few hours of the tent being knocked around I eventually removed the rain fly, because it was basically a sail. I used it as a blanket instead, because there was still a chance for rain. But that wasn't enough. After a few more hours of failing to sleep in that ceaseless howling as the tent bounded and sagged and jerked around I became worried that the poles were actually going to bend too far and be ruined. So I removed those as well. The rest of the night (which wasn't much) was spent within a collapsed tent with the canvas whipping against my face.

That wind did not let up with the morning. Instead it slowly positioned itself to esnure the most misery. Paddling directly into a 30 mph wind for hours on end is...disheartening. At times I paddled as hard as I could just to hold position. If I stopped paddling I immediately stopped and began drifting backwards. On several stretches of river the wind got the waves running at over three feet. I would crash through one after another after another as if I were in the ocean. Oddly enough the water was warm. Some of the swells and waves were very impressive, but that very impressiveness thwarted any attempt by me to take a picture.

This ended up being one of those days when you just push and push and don't really think about anything else. I just put my head down and pressed forward. On those occasions when the wind wasn't too insane swallows shadowed me. I guess I was a novelty to them. Though I wasn't looking around, it was pretty hard to miss all the boats washed up on shore. Rockford sure does seem to lose a lot of boats.

After six hours of torture I stopped for a quick break at a park near Oregon, Illinois. I almost tumbled over getting out of the kayak because my legs barely worked. I couldn't hardly walk. I'm not sure if they were numb, or if I had just diverted all strength to my arms. Either way, another sign I need more exercise.

I paddled a little further to the Paddlewheel Inn, where I plan to spend much of the week catching up on work. I'm sort of surprised I made it. I wonder if I will be able to use my arms tomorrow?

For being right on the river, this hotel has no easy access to the water. What a pain.


another lost boat


rough water



Paddlewheel Inn

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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