Three Weeks to Go


Technically, it will be three weeks tomorrow, but just the same… Every week that goes by feels like just a day, so I really ony have three days left. I’m glad that is not really the case. It’s hot! It’s 86 degrees F outside and 80 degrees F in my house. I tried to go for a swim in the slough to cool off but it was too low of a tide. It’s too hot to work on kayaks in my front yard. I could move them to shelter. No, I think I will write in the relative coolness of my house. I could turn on my super duper portable air conditioner, but it’s MAY for crying out loud! I refuse! I will suffer and then the tide will be high enough for me to completely cool down in Birnie Slough.

It has been a productive week and a non-productive week. I am finding that all of these final weeks before the journey are both. I have a list of things that absolutely need to be done before departure, things that it would be really nice if they were done before departure, things that it would be nice but ok if they didn’t happen before departure, and things that it would be really cool if I had that on the trip but it would be an extravagance. I suppose everyone who does this kind of thing goes through this process. At the end of the day, you can’t prepare for everything. I’m ok with that. I have been fortunate enough so far to have prepared enough for everything in my life, obviously.

Some specifics – I have the foot bilge pump installed in the foam foot rest. I have the tubing and exit valve installed and tested. Now to place it and measure… and measure… and measure again. Then to cut hole in kayak. Maybe measure one more time before the last step. Because I have a lower back injury, I have found that being able to put my feet in a number of positions makes kayaking far more enjoyable. So a closed-cell foam pad that spans the entire area where my feet can go – straight legged or legs bent out to the sides where I can brace and everywhere in between – is a nice system for me.I still have to as yet install the rigging for the sail. I thought I’d get to it today, but alas there are the things that need to happen to this place that have nothing to do with my upcoming journey. Earlier this spring I planted some willow and dogwood sticks Andrew cut for me from his and Audrey’s farm. I cleared the grasses around them when I planted them, but the grasses here are relentless, some already twice the height of the plantings. I’m making progress on re-clearing and mulching.

I have had some time to appreciate early May here in Wahkiakum county and am uploading photos with this post. In particular, a McGilivray’s Warbler (will attach the least sucky photo I took that day), blooming Trillium, paddling Gray’s Bay with some Wahkiakum High School students and Stellar’s Sea lion bashing a sturgeon again and again before wearing it down enough to consume it. With my satellite setup I won’t know if I can edit those particular photos before posting this blog. Here goes…

Written by

kyleenaustin

I am passionate about outdoor exploration. In the recent years I have discovered how much more I can experience from a kayak. I am a professional musician and own a dairy where we produce raw milk, butter and cheeses. My son tells me I have "too much on my plate". He is correct, but I wouldn't live life any other way.

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