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Day 65-August 7, 2018

Day 65 - August 7th 2018

After just falling asleep I’m woken by something moving around in the brush just above my head. I quickly grab my light and shine it up in that direction. I can hear whatever it is making noises and I can see brush moving around. I grab my handgun and move to a kneeling position. Put the headlight on my head. I start talking. Whatever it is, stops moving. I move the safety off and keep talking to it. It then moves to the other side of my tent through the brush. It has mass whatever it is. Then it moves away from me. Safety back on.

I lay back down now jacked up on adrenaline. The night sky is overcast so I can’t enjoy the stars as I try to relax. The air is balmy and still now. Funny how it blows all day. I lay there and listen. Listening hard for anything that wants to come my direction. All I hear is crickets and frogs. Fish splashing in the water and a jet over head. Nothing in the brush rustling around. Everything is at peace and I’m still wide eyed and on alert.

Funny thing is I had no problems in the headwaters falling asleep and sleeping hard. It really wasn’t until I had my bobcat friend mess with me all night that I have this one eye and ear wide open now while sleeping.

The south just has a few more gotchas that lurk about at night. Not really looking for us but just doing what they do. I’m not in fear of anything but maybe snakes. I hate snakes.

It’s just what goes bump in the night we have little control of. I’m a guest in their house right now. Sometimes our hosts just are not friendly or have good manners.

I’m so close to the water in my tent that I even positioned the boat at the foot of the tent so if a happy gator comes by and wants to get curious he can’t just come up out of the water and get a good look. That’s how the ambush their prey. An unsuspecting critter having a dinner by moon light at the edge of the water may not notice the slowly approaching set of nostrils and eye balls just above the water and then WHAM, dinner plans are messed up and the critter becomes dinner.

I made it through the night at my not so nice campsite. I get up and get fed. Take a river bath and break camp. Today is only an 18 mile paddle to Calumet. That leaves me with 21 miles. That stretch, however, has no places to stop from what I’m told by several sources that have been down it ,and two who just recently finished within a month. It was recommended that I overnight here and shoot it in the morning. I made Calumet shortly after noon.

As soon I got here the clouds that had been building and talking all morning finally unleashed. Glad I was able to get cover before then.

Fixed myself some lunch and cleaned the boat out. It’s amazing how much sand collects in everything. I mean everything. I bet I pulled a pound or two of wet sand out of the boat. Then I started thinking about weight. What else could I lighten the load with by getting rid of. Easy place there was water. I’ll just need enough to get me through the miles in the morning. I hold on to two liters and dump the rest. That was about a 15 pound reduction right there.

I’ll take any advantage I can to make the last 21 miles a pleasant and faster 21 miles.

I keep say 21 miles and it sounds like such an easy number to hit and it will be. It’s really sinking in now that 21 miles and I’m done. Simple as that. All this effort over the last 65 days and here I am with 21 to go. I’ve done it. A playful pipe dream turned into a goal then reality and here I am looking down at the finish line. Or is it really the finish line? Now that I have the journey about complete, I really have to work on the fundraising for the second fold of making this bigger than me.

God has put things in front of me to ensure my safe passage. My heart surgery had to happen so that my health could endure such a thing as this. My courage and trust in him to take a leap of faith as I have to accomplish such an enormous task that most people think I am crazy to do. Now my promise of making this bigger than me is now front and center.

The mission trip to Honduras with The Simple Church partnering with Living Water is now coming up in February. Carrie and I are going down there to participate in drilling water wells in villages to provide them with a clean and safe water source. Each well costs $5000 to install. I’m hoping to, once again, do something tremendous and possibly crazy. I pray that I can raise enough money to provide at least four wells.

If you have any connections with corporate sponsorship like this please reach out to them and let them know what we are trying to accomplish. Any donations are appreciated.

My blog will continue, but probably on a weekly basis to let everyone know how the fundraising is coming along, and then when we fire up the trip to Honduras I will take you along with daily blogs of what we are doing there.

After tomorrow I will have spent 66 days on an abundance of water that has been collected from 1.5 million square miles of the United States. I have paddled from the humble beginnings into its vast waterway collecting numerous rivers along its path and spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.

Now ,in turn ,my direction and focus looks to those women and children that walk miles to fill a can or bucket and carry that back home for their water supply on a daily basis.

We get upset when we turn a handle in our home and nothing comes out. It’s just suppose to be there. We take it for granted. I’ve had no trouble at any point on this trip where drinkable water became a real concern for me. Most of the time I traveled with more than I needed. Today I even poured out water to save weight in the boat.

I’m feel that this is an easy fix. I can’t save everyone, but if I can make life better for a few, then I have served.

If you feel moved to give whatever you can, every little bit counts. If you have a way of getting involved and making this bigger than yourself, then please join me to reach beyond my vision.

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