August 17

It's amazing how real food, a shower, and cotton clothes can make you feel completely different. But it definitely was earned the past few days, especially today. I got up and decided to work on a video I had an idea for. When I posted that I had reached the Gulf the outcry of support blew me away. But I think a lot of people think I am done. Far from it. I could have posted and corrected them but that's not my style. I would rather give them something better than just a post. I shot some film and took off. I only had 10 miles to go and 2 liters of water left. The skies were blue with not a chance of rain all day which was amazing. But it also meant that it was hot as anything. I would paddle for about 45 minutes and pull over and get in the water to try and cool my body temperature off. Only problem with that was the water was about as hot as the air. It still did the trick. After repeating that several times I got to the end of Dauphin Island that is civilized. There were beach houses lining the water and no real place to stop and pull over. I definitely was not moving as fast as I would have liked. I had already picked out a restaurant that I was going to stop at but I just couldn't get there. I kept saying I know that it would be worth it once I got there but this was a little ridiculous. I had been through enough just get me there. When I finally rounded the bend and pulled up I felt a lot better. I did feel bad for the waitress who had to keep filling up my water every 2 minutes. I tipped accordingly. After bashing some fish tacos and wings I stopped at the Circle K and got some Power Aid to replenish the electrolytes I so desperately needed. When I got back to my boat a guy and his mother were still pulling up. I asked if they knew if I could camp on the island just out of town. His mother said it had signs saying for wildlife only. The guy said he didn't see why not. I figured I could just not see the signs and camp anyway. After all I have paddled from Ohio so I don't think those rules apply to me. Maybe it's my entitlement issues, something I have been working on. They guy also said I could make it across Mobile Bay today and there was a camp ground on the other side. The water was flat and the wind would be at my back. I kicked around the idea pretty seriously for a while. But I had 2 miles to get to the pass that opened up into the 4 miles crossing and it was about 5 pm. I decided against it and settled for the camp ground in town. As I was paddling and talking to my mom, I saw a guy on his dock with a dog, cleaning some fish. I had a feeling he was going to talk to me. We exchanged hellos and he asked if I caught any fish today. I told him I was just paddling and I started in Ohio. And that's when he started asking questions. I told my mom I had to go and answered away. It was your standard questions about what I eat, are you married, and so forth. But he asked a lot of good questions about my boat and gear. Remind you, he is standing about 10 ft above me on a dock with 2 amazing boats lifted up. He asked if I wanted a beer. When I said no I was good he offered a Gatorade. I said sure and he was off. He came back with 2 Gatorades, a water and a lunchable. With cheese. One of the things I miss most out here. I gave him my card and told him why I was doing what I was doing. He said that I must have gotten the drive out of my system to be able to do something like this. I got a good chuckle and headed on. It's good people like that that I really enjoy out here. I got to the boat ramp and walked across the street to the campground. I paid for a campsite but the way I look at it I was paying for the long shower I was going to be taking. The lady gave me a map and told me the quickest way from the boat ramp to my site. And she showed me a path to the beach and then said "but I bet you are probably tired of the beach, huh?. ". I pulled my boat out of the water and put my wheels on it and started dragging it through the campground. I got quite a few looks but I was just thinking about the shower. I got a shower and put on my town clothes. As I was in my tent, I worked on the video and I got zoned in.  For a moment I didn't even realize I was on this crazy adventure.