June 22

The race for the storm is on. I got moving early in hopes to beat the rain. There were 2 bridges one 10 miles and the other 20. I made it to the first one and the storm was close. I posted up under the bridge. I was there for 8 hours just like a stereotypical alcoholic hanging out under a bridge. Just sitting there watching it rain. It's 45 miles to Evansville where I plan being tomorrow. I need to get there mentally I am breaking down and need a recharge. Finally there was a break in the weather so I took off at 6:30pm and headed towards Owensboro 10 miles away. It was nice paddling. The next rain isn't supposed to come till 2 am. The more I paddle tonight the less I have to do tomorrow in the rain. I decided to paddle till midnight. Around sunset I got my headlamp out and it was still dead. I charged it all last night and for a while today. It was not the results I needed at this point. I sat on the Indiana side looking at Owensboro deciding what to do. With out a head lamp I put my phone in my lifejacket front pocket with the flashlight on and it doesn't really do much. I made the decision to paddle the mile across to get a soda pop and camp under the last bridge about a mile back. When I got to the boat ramp I started talking to a young couple. I asked where a gas station was and they said they would give me a ride. I locked up my boat and grabbed my valuables and hopped in the car. They said they had 4 boys and it was the only time they had alone in forever. It was there only date nite and they were carting me around. I grabbed a few snacks and they dropped me back off. I thanked them and went back to my boat. As I was unlocking and packing up I started freaking. I had left my bag in their car. They were long gone before I realized it and they wouldn't notice if for a while in the back seat. I had left my business cards in the boat so they didn't have my info to contact me when they found it. This day just couldn't get any worse. I did have my phone and wallet in my pocket. I tried to think what was in the bag. All I could think of was my speaker, a battery stick, and my headlamp. Which at this point I would have paid them to take my cursed head lamp. I figured I could pick up new ones in Evansville. I paddled back across and found a spot to camp. As I was unpacking the boat it hit me. My camera was in that bag. My heart dropped. I wanted to cry, not just because of the camera but what is on the camera. I had taken a trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone after college and accidentally erased all my photos before and knew how bad it sucked. I needed to find a way to get it back. I decided to try one of my best skills. Facebook stalking. I only had there first name and that they lived in Owensboro. Sure enough I found them. I sent them both messages to see if they had my bag. The wife responded after probably what seemed to me the longest 30 minutes. She told me she would check. Then I saw the typing bubbles. I knew it was there but would they admit it. After all they could just keep it and I couldn't prove anything. She said they had it, and where should they bring it to me. I told them I was on the other side of the river by the bridge or I could paddle back to the boat ramp to meet them. We decided to meet at the ramp. I put a empty beer can I found on a stick to mark my camp, hopped in my empty boat, put my spare flashlight in my mouth. Then headed the mile and a half back across the river. I saw him pull up and wait on me. I thanked him over and over. I gave him my card and some cash. He refused but I insisted. It was the least I could do. I said thank you and he said good luck and I paddled across the river for the 4th time. I made it to camp and felt better. As I was climbing into my tent exhausted I checked my phone and had a message from the guy who gave me my bag back. He said he and his wife had actually gone to the river to try and figure out a way to get money to pay the rest of there gas bill. And with the money I gave him they could pay it. He normally wouldn't take the money but they needed the money. I stood there in shock. My mind was blown. What had just happened.


Why wouldn't my headlamp not charge?  Why did I get stuck under that bridge for so long today? Why did I decide to go across the river and land at that particular spot at that time?  Why did they offer to help me when they were in such a tough situation?  What are the chances I found them on Facebook?  Why did they offer to bring my stuff back?  So many unanswered questions.  The River Gods have a weird way of making things happen that I don't always understand. Was this the reason I was suppose to take this route instead of my original one?  To help out these people who went to the river to try and find answers to there problems?  It shows when you do the right thing, good things happen. Maybe not always as quickly as today but I truly believe they do. If that is the only reason then I'm perfectly satisfied. I'm sure that there might be more experiences along the way but this one will stick with me forever.


Authors note:

After writing this entry I was messing with my headlamp and found out it was locked. It was 100% charges the whole time. So for some reason I couldn't figure it out and was able to have an amazing experience.