David Johnson's Travel Blog
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04/12  Most boring trip ever?
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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
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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
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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
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06/15  Hardest Portage Ever
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06/17  First Alligator
06/18  Last Dam
06/19  Tide
06/20  Trashy Beaches
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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
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

First Alligator

2012-06-17

tl;dr: Saw alligators. Met a game warden. Talked like a Yankee. And camped in a prohibited area of Choctaw NWR.

I saw my first alligator for this trip. Then I saw several more. I also met my first game warden. I had been anticipating this for weeks, but he didn't give me the hard time I was prepared for. In fact, he seemed to recognize that I wasn't local trouble just as soon as I opened my mouth, and he was quite friendly. He told me there were also bears around here, and once I get south of Jackson, "Don't stop. Every time I go down there I put somebody in jail."

While digging through my gear I found my flashlight. It was never lost. I just never ever use it. In fact, I haven't camped with any sort of light in weeks. I even shut off my cell phone at night to preserve the battery. So why do I even carry this thing? Emergency gear, I suppose.

Occasionally, folks call out to me from a boat or beach. "War you from? You're not frem aroun' here, cause you talk like a Yankee." True enough, although I've found myself attempting to drawl out a little more, so folks aren't so jarred every time I open my mouth. Fortunately, as my dialect is pretty close to Hollywood-standard, nobody has a hard time understanding me. Now if what I just wrote didn't sound discriminating, maybe what I'm about to write won't either. I have noticed something odd over the years: In general, the farther south I travel, understanding white people becomes more difficult, and understanding black people actually becomes easier. I don't know why.

I kayaked by a sign in the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge expressly prohibiting camping and set up camp back in the woods--a very mosquito infested woods. Well, at least there aren't biting ants. Oddly enough, it has been days since I was last bitten by an ant. Some of the bites are even starting to heal. There is a hornet here, though, that just hovers and stares at me.

sunrise over my shoulder


first alligator


why do I even have a flashlight?




mile marker 137




Camping PROHIBITED


so let me camp

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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