This was the first day I joined the group that is paddling the whole length of the St Croix river.
I joined my two good friends Troy and Mark and we camped with the group on the Thursday evening which was the 9th day of the trip. The three of us shared Troy’s tent, dubbed bythe group as the Taj Mahal.
Because it is an organized paddle, there were set times to start so that day tripper could join us on a predetermined schedule.
But, on Friday morning, just after we packed up our tent, it started to rain and some lightning was detected. This meant that there would be real danger for people in aluminium canoes. So we hung around and made friends with many of the very interesting group of paddlers. Julie also brought the most divine pan of oven-warm sticky buns to sweeten us up!
Troy even had a chance to do a Facebook entry in his plastic bag enclosed phone.
Before long a park ranger, Dale, came and set up a shelter and gave us a very interesting talk about the people who had fought hard for the preservation of the St Croix river.
After that, we still had some thunder, but Deb, the person responsible for us all, gave permission for us to go on the water as soon as 15minutes passed without lightning.
While some were keeping an eye on their watches, some took it easy:
At last we were off in the rain – just happy to be on the water. For the next few hours I did not take any pictures (because of the rain). We started getting a sustained headwind of 20mph sometimes gusting up to 35mph – so if we stopped paddling, we would float upstream! Even though i was in a tandem kayak with Troy, we had to keep it going all the time. The rain stung now and again and a few times we took on a gallon of extra ballast, but it was sheer fun! I would not have had it any other way.
Mark managed to get these two photographs of me and Troy:
Here and there we could hug the shore and get a bit of relief from the wind. I don’t think it was too long before the weather cleared and even the wind let up. By 3.30pm the sun was out and we found a river-access picnic spot to take a rest and eat a snack.
Here is Mark with his Hobie kayak that attracted a lot of interest from all the paddlers:
A sign said there was a toilet you could go to. Troy went to investigate and took this photo:
Won’t catch me easily on one of those when I know other people are close by!
Snacks were good and it was not long before we were on the water again.