Well almost. In fact in T-minus 3 days.
I’m so excited to once again get back on the water to the new adventures, new experiences and hopefully many new friends along the way!
First and foremost though before launching, there are definitely a few people I have to mention before I head back out again. Without their help, love and support…I was dead in the water!
Without my Aunt Linda, Neil, Mike and Jan’s help in St. Joseph, Michigan getting me off the water…who knows what I would have done. I can’t thank them enough for shuttling me around, providing me with a place to stay, storing my gear, not selling my gear, and most importantly just being there and feeding this big ol dude. None of those were easy tasks and having their help meant the world to me.
Next, I can’t express how much I love Goal Zero and how they have become far more than just a trip sponsor. They went above and beyond originally when they supported me with their inital gear donations for my trip. Then, after their gear was destroyed due to no fault of theirs on the trip, they came to my rescue to replace everything for me, while also sending an additional Switch 8 Solar Charge Kit that they have now allowed me to add to my Goal Zero arsenal. They not only backed their products, but everyone on their staff and customer service teams go way above and beyond. They have done so much more for me then anything they ever had to do. I am so humbled to have them as one of my many wonderful trip sponsors to keep my dream alive. I can’t recommend them enough for all of your Solar Power and outdoor energy needs!!!
Then we come to my amazing friends like the Page family, my own family and my Columbus peeps that have all offered their own help and support. Getting to spend the last couple weeks with my sisters kids Lucy, Joseph and Mary always gives me just what I need as well. Kicking it while home with my buddy John, Sam and my girls Steph and Rach, allowed me to enjoy the best friends a guy could ask for…but while also reminding me of how great friends know exactly how to motivate you again to get back out and push you to fulfill your dreams. How they put up with me, I’ll never figure that out…but I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world for them being in my corner.
Then there is my Mom and Dad. Always there, always supportive and always helping me in any way they can. I can’t thank them enough…especially my pops for riding 11 hours in a car with me to grab my gear. I’m just glad you could enjoy the quality bonding time and my free self guided tour I gave you of the amazing town of Van Wert. Told ya I would get us home!
So that brings us to now…
It’s time to get back out there…but I’m taking a detour.
The picture I posted with this blog is of Columbus, Ohio…the place I’ve most associated with as home, although I am the furthest thing from a Buckeye fan (Go Blue). That picture goes back probably 10 years to one of my first kayak trips with my buddy Sam Bales. I have always told myself I wanted to finish that trip, and take that Scioto River and paddle the rest of the way down to the Ohio River.
Well that time is now.
Sure it will be a detour from the “offical” Great Loop route, but the thing every Looper has told me is Loopers make the trip their own. With being back in Ohio…something told me…you are starting from here…this is how you will make it your own. I may be giving up 50 miles left of Lake Michigan, but I am adding quite a few more river miles to start from my “home” of Columbus.
This Sunday, I will move forward by turning back the clock and paddling the very river that got my love for paddling going. It’s only fitting that this amazing journey detours to, and through a place that means so much to me. From the Scioto, I will still meet the Ohio River, except now I will head South down the Scioto to meet it and then make my way towards Paducah, Kentucky from the East.
I can’t wait to get back out there this week. I’m ready to go! I cant wait to see what this next leg and chapter of the journey brings! Hope to meet and see many more of you along the way and thanks for the continued support of everyone thank continues to follow my adventure!!! You all have made this journey possible and my thanks goes out to each and every one of you. Hope to make you all proud!