August 3

Even though I passed out hard, I kept waking up through out the night. I finally decided to just get up and start packing. It's amazing how I can fit so much stuff into a small space. When I got the call that my ride was on his way I just threw all my stuff in my bag and went down to the lobby. He asked if I wanted lunch. It was still raining but about to pass so I decided on it. I could still get on the river by noon and make my 40 miles to get to New Orleanson schedule. When we got back to the "boat ramp" I noticed the guy who I had passed yesterday on the river was camped there. Even though I didn't get much sleep, that spot looked a lot worst. We sloshed through the mud and I was off. As I paddled I noticed the ships were getting bigger and more frequent. Sure enough it started raining again right when I was going under an overpass. The radar said it wasn't lasting long so I waited it out holding on to the pylon.When it started to break I took off and rounded a turn. It was like a pinball machine. Containers lined the entire river for about 3 miles. I hugged the right side. As I passed one of the first tow boats a guy saw me coming and came out with a coke and a yellow Gatorade. It's like he knew me. I paddled over and chatted awhile. He gave me some pointers for the rest of the way. Big boats take the inside but small boats take outside. I was listening but didn't quite understand completely. I thanked him and went on. It wasn't till a few more turns when I realized what he was saying. I crossed the river to take the inside bend because I figured it was faster. It was a 90 degree blind turn and I was right on the bank to play it safe. When I was about 50 yards away a ship came hauling around the corner. Yeah a giant ship that crosses oceans. It literally blocked the sun out. I went numb but decided to take a few strokes backwards. I was a little shaken up but I still needed to get my miles so I pressed on. But sure enough it started raining again. Then pouring. I tried to look up the radar on my phone but it wouldn't let me unlock it because my fingers were so wrinkled. I couldn't even enter my passcode because the screen was wet. After another lightning bolt I pulled over and set up my tarp. It didn't help much but it was better than in the middle of the river. By the time I saw the radar it looked like I was going to be there a while. I started trying to figure out a different campsite for tonight. The campsites on this section are few and far between. I remembered that a few miles away from what I know is one of the only signs that says Paddlers welcome. I texted some people to find out the name and reach out. I don't think they got my message (not sarcastic). All I really wanted was to camp so I could get up early and head to NOLA. When I got to the sign it was knocked over. I'm assuming it was from the storm but they could have been out of town or something. Plus it was really muddy. I continued on and saw a group of people soaking in the river with a 4wheeler in the river and a few more on shore. I paddled closer to see what was going on and if they needed help. Nope they did it on purpose to play the radio. It was a group of high school kids enjoying the dog days of summer. They said I could probably camp over on the shore a little ways down but to watch out for cow pies. That's what they call soft mud spots. I got a good chuckle and went dodging cow pies. I put up my tent and returned a call to a family friend who lives in New Orleans. While we were talking I realized I didn't have my rain fly on so everything in my tent was soaked. A terrible day got worse. I set my alarm for before sunrise to hopefully make up the miles I lost today. 149 miles to the gulf.