Day 39 – Alabama Scenic Trail campsite


Oh the weather! Well, the weather rules and that is all there is to that. Yesterday I held up at a perfect little oasis-it was a fishing shack only accessible by water, it had a nice porch with a bench on it and water with a deep sink for cleaning fish. And NO “no trespassing signs.” It had a low dock with tires for bumpers and I completely appreciated the lack of signs because when lightning threatens near me I just want some shelter. Yes, I’m a lightning wimp on the water.

I’ve paddled plenty of times watching lightning strike yards away from me and on the other side of a river where I’m paddling or seen it dancing across the sky from cloud to cloud like a wild science experiment. Around Pool’s Island, MD, I even smelled ozone. So far my average of NOT getting struck while on the water is great, but the odds kind of freak me out.

While I’m low on the water I am still the highest thing on the water. And I have a carbon fiber boat with a lot of electronics on it. Today I’ll try to make those last 18 miles or so to Blue Gill, am hoping to be there before noon if I don’t have to hole up somewhere to wait for lightning to pass.

Right now I’m camping at a rustic campground set up by the National Scenic Trail and Alabama Scenic River Trail people. Except for the trash left behind by some thoughtless folks, it’s a perfect spot. I don’t believe I was joined on the beach by any gators and I haven’t seen or heard any wild boar, but I still do have my food hanging up high so no furry people can’t get it.

I’m so lucky it was a cool rainy day yesterday-I still have water though I will surely run out before I get to today’s destination. I almost hate to leave this perfect spot-am hearing splashing in the water every now and then and wonder if it’s a gator snatching a passing fish or something. Or maybe it’s just a fish leaping but it doesn’t really sound like that. The water moving sounds to be too big for just a fish. It’s still too dark to see very well so I can’t really do anything but hear the noise and wonder.

Ah sweet victory! I just nailed a pesky mosquito. My tent has blood smears all inside it as I’ve killed plenty of these little pests too late and after they’ve feasted on me. It was a perfectly quite night-just the bugs and owls with their gurgly purring whoots. Even route 65 seems to have quieted down, though I can hear trucks rumbling by now off in the distance.

I’m really thankful for this little spot-I actually got in early enough and feel well rested. Last night I feasted on peanut butter and Nutella and pretzels. I’ll have some water this morning and leave as soon as I can see, which hopefully should be within the hour. Then it’s gonna be push it out for Blue Gill to see Justine and get cleaned up!

Boy do I reek. I was hoping my dirty clothes in my tent wouldn’t make a gator think I’m a dog…gators LOVE dog. Fortunately I don’t think any were interested in the tent or my canoe, which I have between me and the water. This has been a super sweet place, by I’m eager to move on. I miss my family and unlike past trips, they were not able to see me off OR meet me half way NOR will they be at the landing in New Orleans. Carl will come down probably the day after, but without the kids. Who knows tho, with the weather delays he might actually be here for the landing!

Paddles up!


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