“Shackleton? More like, DACKLEton!” she said in ernest.*
For the third day in a row, we’re iced out! 🧊
Last week temperatures dropped dangerously low right as we made it to Cairo, IL. Thankfully The Great Confluence is only an hour from where I went to university, so Sarah and I decided to avoid the -25°F (-31°C) temps by sheltering in place with dear friends of mine in the Carbondale area. Although we are prepared to winter camp, camping in temperatures that low (complete with winds up to 22 mph) would have been miserable. More importantly, *paddling* when it’s that cold is reckless and dangerous, especially because we don’t have wet suits (let alone dry suits). ✨Safety First✨
As the deep freeze began to lift, Sarah and I returned to the Confluence only to find the Mississippi River choked with slush and ice. This new obstacle seemed particularly egregious because we were finally having the type of weather I’d been dreaming about for months: 59°F and sunny! It had been months since I had paddled in weather that lovely and warm! But the ice floes cared not. There was nothing to be done but to wait another few days for the ice to either melt or disperse.
We have been waiting out these climatic adventures on a warm and cozy farm with my dear friend Elaine. I’ve been pretty physically and spiritually exhausted lately, and spending this much unplanned time resting was probably exactly what I needed on a myriad of levels. Elaine has taken such incredible care of us, filling our bellies with nourishing food and our days with laughter and light. I am so grateful to her!
Today we’re going to try once again to get back on the water. Hopefully the ice will have cleared enough for us to continue our journey to saltwater. Stay tuned to find out…
*P.S. Sorry-not-sorry about the Ernest Shackleton joke. I *had* to do it. It was right there! I did it for BrianDack, and I did it for ME.
P.P.S. Full cred goes to BrianDack for adding the “earnest” part. We were VERY satisfied with ourselves on the phone last night.