Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trip map

It looks like Blogger.com doesn't allow .pdf uploads so the itinerary I posted didn't show on the blog. I've scanned a map of the highlighted trip route to a .jpeg file and am posting it.  A number of people commented they didn't understand how I was getting from Illinois to Alabama via a water route. As you can see from the map, the entire watershed of the eastern U.S. is interconnected via canals and natural rivers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Itinerary Finalized

I've put the finishing touches on my itinerary. It's pretty aggressive and I hope the mileage is attainable. Basically, I have to paddle at a four mile an hour pace with 10 hours of seat time a day. If I hit the water by 8:00 a.m. every day I'll be able to stop and set up camp and make dinner at 6:00 p.m. There are plenty of stretches of river where the flow will allow me to achieve at least four miles an hour with little trouble. I hope to get ahead of schedule for when the water slows down and I'm doing more strenuous paddling.

It looks like two weeks on the Missouri River down to St. Louis and then another month traversing the Mississippi River to the Ohio and Tennessee/Tombigbee Rivers. Once I exit the Mobile Bay in Alabama I'll be heading to Florida via the IntraCoastal Waterway. Lots of paddling and it should be fun meeting interesting people along the way.

The water flow is currently up on the Missouri below Nebraska City. It should drop by the time I leave in three weeks. Yahoo!

I've posted the itinerary as .pdf file. I'm not sure if Blogger.com will display it.

[Post script note: I converted the .pdf to .jpeg format.  The itinerary should now be visible above the blog text.]

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grocery shopping for trip is done!

A shopping cart full of food later and I've got food for at least six weeks on the river. It's a pretty big pile but I guess it will get lighter as I eat up my rations.
I'm including a picture of my food drier in the process of drying down some bananas and refried beans. A few more days of using the food drier and the menu preparation will be done. Yum, yum!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A photo of my madness

I figured out how to update my blog via email using Mail2Blogger so I thought I'd give it a try by sending a photo of the gear I've packed for the trip. The two big barrels are for food. It would be great if they fit in the canoe together but I have a feeling I'll be repacking in dry bags.

Maybe I should be taking a speedboat for this trip instead of a canoe!



Friday, April 15, 2011

Only 30 days until departure!

I'm sitting here watching "Hot Tub Time Machine" on NetFlix and having a hard time believing that only a month from today and I'll be heading out on the big trip. I've been hard at work planning and organizing for the big event but I've been pretty lax getting in blogging about it. I did take time to set up a website and get this blog running, I just havent' taken the time to test the system or post updates.

Since the time is getting so short I figured I should see if my internet connection plans will pan out. I'm typing this on my iPad with a wireless keyboard. I took a photo of the equipment barrels that have my food and camping equipment that I've assembled to date. Hopefully, the photo and this post will upload withouth any problems. Otherwise I'm not sure I'll have time to rethink my strategy for keeping others posted about the progress I'm making.

As far as equipment goes the canoe is ready to be picked up next weekend. I had hoped for more lead time to test out my packing and equipment list but there won't be much I can do before I leave. I drive to Illinois to meet Scott Smith from Sawyer Superior Canoes next weekend to get the boat. Then I'll work on packing and uppacking it a few times to make sure everything fits. He claims the boat will hold a pickup truck bed's worth of equipment but I will belieive that when I see it.

I have all my equipment assembled except my boat and paddles. This weekend I will go grocery shopping and pack the last of my food. I decided to go with the NOLS cookbook and cook as much food as I can while on the river. I assembled a menu and food list for 6 weeks on the water followed by about 2 weeks of freeze dried dinners. If all the food fits I can focus on my daily paddle routine and not the whole going into town to buy food thing.

The last thing to say is that I've decided to put in on the Missouri River in Nebraska City. That will get me heading down river faster than my original plan to start in Lincoln on Salt Creek.

Oh well, I hope this works. When I post the update it should also post a status update on my Facebook page. I also have a SPOT emergency locater that will update my daily location.

Let's hope technology is my friend.

Back to packing...