Over 4000 miles in a year?

 Yeah, I don’t know either!

 

The biggest hurdle in preparing for the upcoming 2018 season of paddling is my healing collarbone injury.

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Following three months of physical therapy, my shoulders and core are feeling strong again and up to the daunting task of paddling over 4000 miles.

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The Prijon SeaYak I picked up last spring in the Shenandoah Valley needed some cleaning and outfitting to prepare it for the journey.  It has new custom made hatch covers by Snap Dragon, freshly resealed bulkheads, aluminum rudder and shade-tree quality custom seat made from an old camping pad and prosthetic boot.   One of the many benefits of a kayak over a canoe for this trip is the ability to safely encounter waves and dynamic water from larger vessels, currents and wind. The lightweight carbon fiber Aqua Bound Sting Ray paddle makes a huge difference in forearm fatigue compared to the heavier paddler I used on the Mississippi River.

3 miles from home is Lake Shenandoah, a 36 acre impoundment lake popular with local anglers and boaters.  It has been a great place to put in to test out the new features and fittings of my seat and foam pad additions.  The few days we’ve had wind on the lake has been great for umbrella sailing with the large golf umbrella I plan to bring.  Not only can it serve as rain and sun protection, but serious propulsion when the wind is right.

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Sometime around the first week of July, I plan to put in on the Monongahela River in Fairmont, WV.  This will begin my journey downstream on the Mon to the Ohio River and on. This blog will be updated infrequently via wifi as the trip permits.  At this moment, I’m planning to have no cell phone to communicate or call with but relying on my marine radio for locks and weather, printed river and tide charts. Life is simpler on the rivers, more basic and visceral.

I’ll try to make a post about the gear list and layout once things are finalized and test fit into the boat. Stay tuned here on this new blog for updates and stories from the Monongahela River.

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