David Johnson's Travel Blog
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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
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05/13  Between Green and Red
05/14  Now comes the hard part
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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
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07/11  No Wind
07/12  Actually Sailing
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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
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Kayak Trip 2017

Hardest Portage Ever

2012-06-15

tl;dr: After a tough portage around the Demopolis Dam I continued on down the now-getting-remote Tombigbee River.

I radioed the Demopolis Lock, but the lock master informed me that the lock would be closed for at least an hour. He suggested that I could portage. Maybe. The fisherman do it. Well, they just walk. No boat. I paddled over to the other side of the dam to portage.

I didn't want to get too close to the dam, so I got out of my kayak and walked along the muddy shore. Until I startled a huge water snake (I may have yelped). So I dragged the kayak up into the woods and around the dam. And down a bunch of rocks. And across a flat expanse of rock. At this point I realized I had lost my radio, so I retraced my steps until I found it. I put the kayak back in the water and paddled along until I realized I wasn't even close to being over this dam. I dragged over a bunch more rocks. Paddled some more. Dragged some more. And finally arrived at open water. There, two guys in a truck were waiting at a boat landing. I suspect they were from the lock. Realizing their portage advice was unsound they came to see if I yet lived.

Hurray! I have current! Well, a little. Or is that just the wind? Okay, maybe not enough current to help out.

This stretch of river is remote and quiet. I met very few other boats.

Sometimes I listen to my FM radio. I turn it on and scan the stations, anyway. Gospel, gospel, local talk, country, country, country. And so I turn the radio off again and continue listening to podcasts or audio books.

Demopolis Lock and Dam panorama


below the dam


farther below the dam


getting really below that dam




rusty rocks


not Bigfoot




egrets


big rattlesnake




deer


mile marker 194.1


turkey




camping on a gravel beach

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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