Journey’s End

August 30, 2019 – It was a night of post-apocalyptic-themed dreams. One after the other. I’d wake from one, go back to sleep, then go into another with a different twist. I suppose they could be considered nightmares. Since these types of dreams are what I have most of the time, I no longer think of them as nightmares.

I got up at 7:30. The park was quiet. It was a light soft gray overcast sky, warm and humid. I packed up the tent/sleeping bag/pad, ate breakfast, did some reading, changed into my paddling gear, and had moved everything down to the water just as Marti arrived in her kayak ready to paddle with me to Slow Boat Farm.

The river was flat and empty except for us. One nice thing about a morning flood tide is that all the big ships bringing stuff out to sea wait until the afternoon ebb tide, so today there was only the occasional fishing boat and yacht traffic passing by.

A sturgeon of good size jumped completely out of the water just in front of us as we paddled the outside of Price Island. About 20 minutes later we saw another sturgeon about the same size as the first floating upside down in the water and being nibbled on by a couple of ring-billed gulls. Everyone’s gotta eat.

We took the most direct route from Vista Park to Slow Boat which ended up being only 9.5 miles. When we got to Puget Island, we entered Birnie Slough and paddled it all the way to Slow Boat Farm. It felt good to be heading home, and Marti was a delightful paddling partner.

A welcoming group of friends and family greeted us at the Slow Boat Farm shore, marking the end of my 2019 Ketchikan to Slow Boat Farm kayak journey. They helped unload boats and gear and returned to their Friday afternoon activities. I washed BABS down inside and out and put her back on the kayak rack in the garage. I’m currently on washing machine load number five, have emptied out all of the drybags, and put everything away.

Over the next month or so I plan on pulling together a full review of the gear and supplies I used for the journey. I realize that what worked for me may not work for others and vice versa. As I was preparing for my expedition, I found others’ reviews to be useful even if I ended up going in another direction. I will post the review in blog form here on my website.

Also, I will blog as I go back and do the segments I missed this year. Some of them I may not get to for a year or two or more, but paddle them I will if I am able. And so life continues…

Paddling under the Birne Slough Bridge. Just another 2.1 miles to home.

BABS all clean and ready to go back in the garage.

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.

4 thoughts on “Journey’s End

  1. What an adventure! I’m so happy for you – and PROUD. This was not a trip for the timid. May God be praised that you were safe the whole way and had vistas most of us never see. Take care, lovely Kyleen.

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