What a start to the adventure!
A huge shout out to my brother and Cousin, 1st of all for helping get me started in Lexington on Tuesday. Lending a hand with all my gear was no easy task, and it sure made starting with them so much easier. Plus it was nice to paddle out of the gates with my cuz!
As they waved goodbye…the reality hit…THIS IS IT.
The easy part of talking it up is done, and now comes the biggest test of my life, to paddle 6,000 miles around the Great Loop of the Eastern United States! Each day, one paddle stroke at a time.
Once my brother and cousin faded into the distance, a energy really hit me. Time to do this! I was so charged up. To even think about this was nuts, but to actually try it is crazy! Yet, every paddle stroke more I got into the journey, the more alive I felt. Every turn on Lake Huron brings a new view, a new city and even new friends.
Day 1 was capped off by an awesome beach front camp spot, hidden right between huge lakeshore homes. My tent may have looked a little out of place next to those mansions, but I felt like a King.
Waking up to an early morning sunrise, it was off on day 2 and another gorgeous day. Today I saw a lot more people on the banks who all waved as I went by. Making great time, I made it all the way just north of Forester, where I met my new friend Drake. He had played basketball over in Australia, and he made my day when he offered me his extra queen sized bed in his RV. Sure beat the tent floor for a night. Drake was the 1st guy I met along the way, and his kindness went above and beyond anything I could have hoped. So glad to have met him and shared a few stories!
The next morning, I woke early and was planning to really cover some ground. After shaking hands with Drake, I was off again into the bluest water of Lake Huron. My plans for the day would soon change, when I laid eyes on the perfect beach under a scenic overlook. I knew right then, day 3 would be cut short as I was popping up my hammock and spending the rest of the day there. As an added bonus, I met Brianna. She was an amazing girl who was collecting rocks along the shore. I saw her and instantly thought of my niece, who I always collect rocks and shells for along my travels. Brianna was making a rug with them, and she was as pumped about my trip, as much as I was just to enjoy her conversation. I really can’t wait to see how her rug turns out!
Since I cut day 3 short, and rain was in the cards for Sunday, today was a day to book it. Starting from Miles Rd south of Forestville, I made it all the way up the coast to Harbor Beach. As I was paddling towards the harbor, a man waved and so I decided to stop to ask what was in town. Ed, had other plans as he opened his place for me to camp out…even mowing me a fresh patch of grass! After great conversation, he gave me a lift into town to see the sites. He was from Lexington, so we had a lot in common with our love for the water and Lake Huron. I can’t thank him enough for his hospitality and kindness…and truly hope to meet up with him again down the way. Even though I wished we could talk longer, I’m sure we will be in touch.
If this trip is going to be anything like the 1st 4 days, this adventure will definitely be the best decision I’ve ever decided to do.We will see what the water…and weather has in store tomorrow!!
P.S. Nothing kills a paddle stroke groove like Taylor Swift does, when she comes on the IPod shuffle.