Thursday, December 2, 2010
The count down is over. Shove off day. I woke up early to do the last minute preparations. Got a wonderful early morning call from my partner in crime, Mary Linkevich. "This is it, are you ready?" "What time will you be at the Lookout?" Maybe she was just making sure I didn't oversleep?
Then the early arrival of Jeremy Scheivert. As he stoops through the old doorway from what is still a darkness outside. "You got to go know". "It sure did rain and their calling for more". We had a few more exchanges and he finished with, "See you at the top!"
Then my longtime friend Tony Zawada called, "You aren't still going in this!" "Why don't wait till tomorrow." I replied, "Just a little rain, and I am on a schedule, people to meet down river."
Now at this point it is raining with no immediate intentions of letting up. Electronics do not like this type of condition. Everything is packed, double dry! Making it inaccessible till better weather.
Crested the lookout and interacted with Mary and Jeremy. Thanks guys for walking up there on a day of not ideal conditions. Then parted dropping off the front of the lookout onto the Skyline Trail and then took a left. Wet, new leaves going down a very steep slope, well you can imagine, yes, I fell down a several times.
I roughly followed the path of the old, "Slide". The gravity rail from the mid 1800's of whose remains are very evident on the mountain top. First person I get to see at the end of the road, Sandy Moroney! Then quickly met by Bonnie Warner! Thanks guys for being there, and again on a day of not such ideal conditions. Then, flooded with WOW! Meeting and greeting. President Jerry Regan came looking very spiffy! Thanks Jerry for dressing up! Even some news folks. That I did not expect. It all seemed a little overwhelming at that moment. This is not just another trek of mine, it really is a trek for many! Cool!
Now I know folks were taking photos of me paddling under a bridge I have floated under 100 times over the years, that did not seem that special to me, BUT, all the folks on the bridge with the signs, yelling, cheering, Tom Kerr, with a horn, thanks Tom! That was the moment, that was the photo. But of course I did not have a camera out! Aaaagghhhh! So, everybody there that day, next heavy rain if we could all gather in the morning so I can capture that moment that would be great!
THANK YOU ALL!!!!!! MUCH APPRECIATION FROM A TRAVELER PADDLING THROUGH THE PAST!
With the water volume travels went quickly. Approaching the Kernsville dam I actually felt a very warm breeze. Ryan Beltz, Robin Fitch, and Susan Schmoyer, were waiting for my arrival. They all helped me carry the boat around my first portage. This is was a serious WOW moment. During that ten minutes of moving the canoe around, we get to the bottom of the dam and BOOOOMMMM. These gale force winds just hit us blowing dam spray into our faces, literally pushing us to the point of having to adjust our footing so we didn't blow over. Sue with her glasses said, "I can't see." I looked over and she is all bundled up with her glasses completely "wetted over." After a brief exchange of appreciation and good lucks, I added some layers because the temperature dropped instantly, and they pushed me off. Thanks guys for that help!
In quick order I departed and arrived at my evening destination, the Leesport Lockhouse. What another joyful arrival. Greeted by Bonnie Bohnenblust, a volunteer with the Leesport Lockhouse Foundation.
Warm, Dry, and very cheerful. AWESOME PLACE!
I completed the evening as all travelers before me have done, I stopped in at the local "Village Tavern" to toast the days adventures and tell the tales. Thank you Shelly Hammersly and Tony Zawada for making sure I experienced the local wares.
To quote John Wayne, "Were burning daylight!" Got to get started down the river for my next day of discovery.
JOIN THE JOURNEY