Knack-A-Dish with Weller

“You can quit if you want, and no one will care. But you will know for the rest of your life.” Ironman co-founder John Collins

Tuesday, October 14th

Vicki and I stayed at Howard and Linda’s and had an nice evening. We enjoyed our stay in Alexandria/Pineville, no better place to celebrate 15 years of marriage.  The local NBC station arrived just prior to my launch and interviewed Howard, Vicki and I.  I was glad they included Vicki and Howard in the piece because they are representative of the support I have recieved.

I said my goodbyes and paddled out of Alexandria. It was somewhat of an awkward goodbye with the media recording you.  The skies were blue but the wind was stiff-and out of the North.  It was really difficult for me to get going, between the wind and being “off” for four days, I simply couldn’t make much distance.  I finally called it a day in Boyce, LA after 15 miles.  At least I am back into the swing of it-sorta.

I ran into the mayor of Boyce at the U.S. Corp campground where I camped.  We discussed his re-election and mayoring a small town.  He recognized me from the paper and acknowledged my mother’s passing. He shared with me that he lost his mom at age  5 which must have been difficult.  He indicated that I could have a “run of the place.”  Well, I was the only one there so I literally starting doing wind sprints.

Smile for the camera

Smile for the camera

You too Howard

You too Howard

Time to leave

Time to leave

Go already

Go already

See Ya!!

See Ya!!

Red

Red

Rivah

Rivah

On the rivah again

On the rivah again

campsite

campsite

Wednesday, October 15th

Another NW wind, another difficult day paddling upstream.  I was sore from yesterday, after being off four days my body was like whoa!!!  At one point, I actually thought I may have torn a muscle-fortunately it was soreness. After I passed through another lock and dam the paddling really became challenging.  Above the lock and dam the river opens up, almost lake like, which creates difficulties paddling when the wind is in your face (which it was) so I decided to tuck into a bay and have lunch in Colfax.

I stashed my boat at a house boat owned by Howard’s son-in-law and walked into town. As luck would have it, Howard texted me and when he learned I was walking to Colfax he headed over there to meet me for lunch.  We enjoyed a nice lunch toghether and he drove me back to my boat.  I really wasn’t in a big hurry because tomorrow I am meeting my friend John Weller at a campground about 25 miles away.

I paddled another 5 miles past the cove and decided to call it a night.  I found what appeared to be a level grass field above river right bank.  I paddled into a lilly pad, climbed the bank and realized it was a private residence that had quite the view.  The house was set back about 1000 yards so I figured it would be OK to camp there and asked the owner for permission.  He said I could camp at his house but suggested paddling to another recreation site, Red Bayou.  I agreed and set off for the Red Bayou.  I failed to realize it was nestled behind a bay across from his compound.  It turned out to be one of my favorite places to camp on the Red. Oh, and I had my first MRE-not bad.

good morning sunshine

good morning sunshine

shouldn't you be hugging the shore?

shouldn’t you be hugging the shore?

lilly pads

lilly pads

walking to Colfax

walking to Colfax

fall is in their

weeds

Red Bayou

Red Bayou

Fall is in the air

Fall is in the air

captain

captain

Thursday, October 16th

Today was another sun splashed central Louisiana afternoon.  A pattern of cool mornings (with fog) and warm afternoons has developed since I’ve been on the Red.  Not to complain, sitting in the sun all day can be taxing although it beats the cold and rain. I’m afraid that is in my future.

I woke up early with a destination of Midway Marina where J-Dub (a former success station mate) and I arranged to rendezvous.  My paddling was going great in the early morning until I paddled into a back channel by accident (dang fog).  All of the sudden I was surrounded by lilly pads and realized I had to get back to the main channel. I had to cut through the lilly pads, I attempted twice before getting through.  I learned you just can’t slice right through them.  This was a first on the trip.

I finally arrived at Midway Marina around 3:00 and John was there waiting for me.  He had already been grilling ribs and venison so it was about ready when I landed.  John rolled out the red capet-provided food, drinks, and spirits.  It was a great late afternoon and evening.  We hung out discussing days gone past and what the future holds. John brought his pop up trailer with him, it was totally heaven with all the amenities.

I didn’t want the evening to end.

more of the Red

more of the Red

on my way to see John

on my way to see John

only 1.8 miles to the marina

only 1.8 miles to the marina

It's that way

It’s that way

J-Dub

J-Dub

home

home

Friday, October 17th

Today was bittersweet.  John and I had (or least I did) a great night of camping.  Again, he did it up, even gifting me pistachios and leftovers for today.  Honestly, I wish I could have hung out all day with him at the Marina but Isettled for breakfast with him in Natchitoches.

John brought me back to the marina and assisted with my departure. I was really bummed about leaving good company, I think it was a combination of knowing that my time with company (Vicki, Howard, and Linda in Alexandria and John in Natchitoches) has come to a close and for some reason I can’t shake the melancoly blues after spending time around good people. I’ll shake it off, but it was a difficult day canoeing.

I was glad to finally put Natchitoches in the rear view mirror.  Great town, but paddling past it was literally the 4th time since last Saturday I had been there (Vicki and I went Saturday and Monday as well). I found a great campsite on river right and called it a day.  The leftover ribs and venison were great.  I read in my tent and figured my destination for tomorrow.  Shreveport is up soon.

Let’s canoe.

memories from last night

memories from last night

getting ready to launch

getting ready to launch

John and I

John and I

knack-a-dish

knack-a-dish

other side

other side

view from campsite

view from campsite

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3 Responses to Knack-A-Dish with Weller

  1. J-dub says:

    Love the iron man quote. Very profound. Had a great time camping out. Great weather and great company. You’ll be at the finish line before you know it.

  2. Michael Callaway says:

    The weekend of Nov 8th is the guys camping trip, we will come to you where ever that may be.

  3. Lorenzo Erickson says:

    Saw you on the Shreveport News last night and wish I could have seen you pass through Shreveport! Keep being amazing and good luck on the Red River!

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