At the end of week two we meet a district manager for a chain of pawn shops. After he had a few beers he decided to come talk to us about our trip. We chatted with him and Stephen played him some tunes on the banjolele. He decided that we were "River Boys," which he yelled loudly to us in the middle of the night. It was an interesting title but it might have been a good fit. I'll try give you some idea of what our life was like when we were not paddling.
|Cooling off on a hot day.|
|Going to bed to this every night was amazing.|
5:00 am: Paddle.
9:00 am: Second breakfast, then paddle. (Just a snack and a 20 min. break.)
12:00 am: Lunch, nap.
1:30 pm: Paddle.
4:30 pm: Snack break, then paddle. (Just a snack and a 20 min. break.)
5:00-8:30 pm: Find and set up camp, make supper, repair things.
10:00 pm: Try to be in bed.
We ate five times a day to get enough calories and keep up our energy. Regardless, by the end of the trip all our clothes got very saggy and loose.
|Tasty mix of rehydrated vegetables, summer sausage, milk power, and a bit of salt and pepper to trick us into thinking there was no sand in our food.|
|Some tasty mulberries which grew in great abundance along the river. Andrew ate maybe 5 gallons of these on the trip.|
|Tasty mac+cheese with milk power to make it creamy.|
|Our Flat-head supper.|
|Andrew watching the fish fillets roasting over a bed of coals.|
|The tiniest island we every slept on. I'm standing right near the one end.|
The five stages of sand:
Denial – "Sand is not a problem." or "I like sand."
Anger – "I hate sand in my food" and "Why so much sand in my tent"
Bargaining - "Fine. I have sand on my feet and hands, but it's not in my cup or in my sleeping bag"
Depression - "There is sand in all my food, clothes, gear, and all over me."
Acceptance – "No big deal, I haven't showered this month either"
|Andrew setting up the stove.|
|The fish that jumped into our boat. Andrew is trying to flip it out with his paddle but we had to grab it and chuck it out.|
|The Arch after 642 river miles and 25 days|
Of all the names we where called, and there were many (including angels by a baptist pastor who asked us to give a good report to his dad when we got back up there), I think the name I would be most proud of would be brother. During all the challenges we faced it was great to having a brother facing them along side of you. Beaches would have seemed more lonely and the sun sets less vivid, without having someone to share them with. Andrew said it best after coming back from a float while I was busy reading. "Floats just aren't as fun when you're alone." I would not have wanted to do this adventure with anyone else.
It was great to see so many amazing things and face so many challenges together especially as we could do it as brothers.