and to wrap it all up.........................
just a summary of our week and some of the vents that we experienced out on the river.
12am Monday the 22nd...Paul and I along with the girls and Jason Dean arrived at the Falls dam and finally located the canoe put in. unloaded the truck and loaded up the boats. Set off at approximately 1230. Temperature dropping down to the mid to upper 30s. Our hands quickly became cold and bodies soon followed. We were surprised by the amount of beavers in this section due to the population of homes along the river. We arrived at Old Milburnie Dam around 5 and decided to sleep till dawn since we couldn't see the dam or how to get around it. We pulled our sleeping bags over our heads and tucked down inside the hull of our boats that had been pulled barely afoot out of the water. As Paul aka the mule said famously, he shivered himself to sleep. WE awoke about 630 to notice that we had slept and smartly so about 30 yard from the top of the dam. We dragged our boats down a path and put back in below the dam.
2pm,,stopped at covered bridge road in Clayton and met up with the day crews from station 1 and 2 along with Chief Dean,Barbee and Lt Benson. Talked for 30 minutes and headed on down the river.
330. Reached hwy 42 and met up with families,Donnie Ayers, Stacey beard and others from the news paper and friends. Had bbq sandwhichs and cake for Pauls bday. set off at 430
830 pm made Smithfield and after a quick stop we kept paddling.
11pm stopped on a boat dock for acouple of hours to rest/
1105 RAIN...it rained the entire time we slept but when your tired,you sleep. Packed up at 1 and set off again. Our sleeping bags are soaked.
TUESDAY 115 am..paul says i m so tired.he hooks his boat to mine and i pull him for a few hours. hitting trees and other debris that only causes him to snore louder.
415am..the fog is bad and the lights are not working well,i also can paddle anymore. we pull over and make a pitiful fire out of whatever dry wood we could find. warm up and cook some oatmeal then doze off for thirty minutes or so.
615 am off again but muddy from ankle deep sludge we just drug our boats on.
1115 we met up with the camera man from channel 5 news. he followed us around for half an hour or so and just talked and filmed. Giving birth to the MULE,(watch the news video).
1pm Bentonville FD met us at the Richardson boat ramp with new supplies and conversation. Said so long to the news guy and then Bentonville and set off again for our next check point.
6pm Listened to the news as we went around the power plant outside Goldsboro. watched Pauls face as he called himself the mule,,PRICELESS.....
930 at dinner at a boat ramp and moved on.
WEDNESDAY 3am yet another boat ramp to sleep on,We were drifting by this point and sleeping sitting up. Probably not the best thing to do so we pulled it over.
7am 4 hours of sleep wow thats what that feels like. moving on again.
1130 Cliffs of the Neuse....pulled over and walked around,they offered us hot showers and a place to charge our phones, we took them up on both accounts. They told us of a group doing what we were doing but they were ahead of us.
230 off again for a long night
930 pulled into Kinston...24 miles in 7 hours
slept on the boat ramp again since we are ahead of schedule,Paul was asleep in the first 5 minutes of laying down.Even slept through the guy fishing 15 feet from us at 11 oclock.
J Dean meet us with new supplies at 7 the next morning. Hung out till 8 and moved on.
Kinston was cool to paddle through. Through town so you actually have something to look at instead of trees.
THURSDAY 8am off through kinston till lunch
1pm,lunch and the big decision was made. We've had enough and we've earned every second that we are ahead of schedule. We made the decision to paddle hard and through the night if need be and be done Friday instead of Saturday. we made the calls and then set back off.
630pm we arrive at our next boat ramp. Two people on shore yell out "you guys those firemen". Startled and curious we say yep. They had been keeping up with us via newspaper. They were the group we were told about back at Cliffs of the Neuse. They invited us up for dinner and we accepted. They said they had to be were we had to be on Friday by 5 also and they would get us there on time if wed stay the that night. They were a relay for life group called HOPE FLOATS. They were on the same course but raising money for cancer. IRONIC huh. We sat and talked and then participated in a ritual of theres. We read name they had prepared of family and friends of theres that had or was affected by cancer. Great time. We Fell out around 930 and slept cold but well needed till 630...packed up with the group and set off on our final leg.
FRIDAY 830 paddling off on the prettiest day yet,and our last.
1 pm lunch and moving fast to keep up on schedule...the week is finally kicking us hard. bodies tired and wind AGAIN is in our face.
Pushing hard with tired shoulders and finally a blister,Paul's back hurting and the wind directly in our faces we pulled into New Bern at %pm
New Bern FD and another couple that had read about us was there in full force on the dock upon our arrival. Took some pictures and talked for awhile.
SO GLAD ITS OVER but yeah id do it again.