David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
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Sequoia National Park 2004
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Little Bicycle Trip 2011
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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

Free Heron

2012-05-28

tl;dr: I found a released a heron tangled in fishing line. Then through the locks to Pickwick Landing State Park.

There are a lot of setlines along the river. Most are well hidden. One was not. I knew this blue heron was having issues when I saw it struggling to stay on a log. I approached to find it wrapped in fishing line. Hauling it into my kayak, I managed to get the hook out of its mouth with my vicegrip that I keep handy because the kayak's skeg is the worst-designed feature ever, but I couldn't cut through the line. I left the heron floating in the water as I paddled to the bank and dug a knife from my tool canister. I returned, captured it again, and continued cutting it free. Released, it slowly swam to shore and stumbled up on the rocks and began trying to dry itself out. Herons don't weigh much it seems, so I suspect all those water-logged feathers are a real burden.

I locked through the Pickwick Locks late morning. This was far better than portaging, though I felt very insignificant using up the entire massive lock with my single kayak. The lockmaster came out and chatted with me a little. Apparently in the past there have been others doing what I'm doing, but not many.

Say one thing about Tennessee, say they take their State Parks seriously. The hotels they set up are incredible. I didn't really want to stop, but there is work to do, and my food needs re-stocking. Hotel choices are limited on the water, so you stop when you can. Of course, after eating lunch at the hotel's buffet, I returned to my room and passed out. Guess I was tired.

I stopped before Day 4 of Memorial Day weekend really wound up. Watching Pickwick Lake from my hotel room, I know it would have been another busy, choppy day on the water.

Over the course of the weekend I bet I was asked a dozen times what my miles-per-gallon was. How clever. Fortunately, a new measurement exists to accommodate electric cars: MPGe, where e stands for equivalent. I roughly calculated how much money I've spent on food so far, along with how many miles I've traveled. It comes to (very roughly) 10 mpg. That's right, I get ten whole miles per gallon of gas. Not very green. So the next time I hear, "I bet you get great mileage, har har," I can respond with, "not really, I've calculated it out to be only 10 miles-per-gallon equivalent." That should endear me to folks.

In case anybody is wondering, my new patch is holding up very well. I went a little crazy with the silicone, so now even the bolts holding the skeg in place no longer leak.

stay glassy


mirror


heron having a very bad day


hold still and don't peck me


Pickwick Locks and Dam


entering the lock


pad panorama of the lock


in the lock


Pickwick Landing State Park Inn

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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