Well this is it. Here we go. What I have been waiting on for years. After shaving my 7 month beard and repacking my gear for the 100th time I was ready to go. My brother and dog dropped me off along the Scioto River on the steps of the COSI (Center of Science and Industry) building with the backdrop of the skyline of Columbus. After 3 tries to christen my boat with a red bull I was finally successful. A few more pictures, and I was off. My mind was racing as I paddled out of the skyscrapers that I have called home for the past 9 years. The river flowed out of downtown two miles till I encountered a dam that I had to portage (fancy boating word for carrying my boat) around. The route was about 20 feet up a bank, then a quarter mile down the bike path past the Fire Station to the river. I stopped in the Fire Station to fill my water bags and got talking to one of the firefighters about what I was doing and their thoughts on the drug overdosing problem in the area. He said that the fire/paramedics respond to calls all the time and it’s getting worse. I would like to say that I am surprised but that would be a bold face lie.
I continued on down the river leaving the 15th largest city in the country behind. As I got outside of the outer belt loop it started getting more remote. So remote that as I was paddling I caught something out of the corner of my eye falling down and splashing 5 feet from my boat. It was a dead snake. Not just a dead snake, a mangled eaten snake dropped by a hawk. Other than almost getting smacked with raining snakes, it was a great paddle through central Ohio. As the sun was setting I found an island to camp on. When I got closer I saw it was already occupied. By 3 deer. They spotted me and took off splashing and swimming across the river. I posted up on the island and settled into my new home for the next several months, and couldn’t be happier.