November 24


I have been thinking about what I should do with my life after this trip. When I stopped in a marina to get a drink the guy asked if I needed gas for my boat. It took me a minute to get that he was joking. I dropped the “I started in Ohio” on them. Then 2 separate people came up to me and said I should work for National Geographic. I thought that was a stretch until I tried to find the campsite and my exploration began. I came off the island this morning and up the Crystal River then worked my way down Salt Creek. It’s just a giant braid of islands and streams. I was checking my GPS constantly to make sure I was on course. When I pulled off to find the camp site I was heading up a creek and no luck. All it was, was marsh land. When the creek ran out I back tracked to the only spot that could have been it. I climbed through the mud and marsh to the clump of trees and no campsite. I decided to just keep going. The sun had set and I was only going on the after glow. One of the guys at the marina told me about a place called Hangover Island that was good to camp. When I found it on the map it was about 2 miles out of my way but by studying the satellite image it was really my only option. I felt like I was playing a video game, staring at my GPS and paddling based off it. Since it was now dark I would shine my head lamp on the shore of the island to see if I could find a spot but no luck. I committed to going to Hangover Island and finally made it. When I pulled up I found a beach. A beach with a large private property sign posted. I went to the next and a sign was there too. Kind of interesting since it was on google maps with a tent symbol. I debated just setting up and if someone said something I would just say I came in at night and didn’t see the sign. There is no way they would believe that but it could be worth a shot. I realized that I probably wouldn’t get any sleep being worried that someone would show up in the middle of the night so I paddled across the bay and found a small place on a bed of sticks. Not ideal but it will have to do. When I looked at my tracker to see the route I had taken today, it looks similar to how I used to come home from the bar. All over the place walking in circles, staggering. But hey, at least I got to explore some and work on my resume for National Geographic.