Another late start for my back. We hoped the extra sleep and lying down helped. If my back didn’t get better, doom.
We launched our boats onto the waters gently flowing around the island and continued downstream. Every 20 minutes, we broke for ten minutes of me lying on my kayak deck. My muscle pain relaxed to agonizing happiness.
The river widened and zig zagged. Rather than stay with the current we cut straight to hopefully save time, and found ourselves in shallow water against a headwind. We gorilla scooted, much longer than we would have liked, until we turned the corner and were out of it.
We stopped to rest on a sandy spit far from the main shore. I don’t know how long I layed there. This was my fifth day of abject patheticness. Later, as we continued north on the lake, we could dig a paddle down to the bottom to hold our position against the wind when I rested.
Meanwhile, Erin had a problem of her own. An infection had grown in her mouth. Before the trip, I had tried to secure antibiotics from my doctor in case of wilderness emergency, but the doctor did not provide. And now Erin suffered. When I made her laugh, she winced with pain. She no longer spoke in more than a whisper as the infection that started in her cheek spread to her throat.
I stuck a thermometer in her mouth to see if maybe she was coming down with strep, but it showed her as dead. I cleaned it, and stuck it in my mouth. I too, was dead. I’d had the thing for years; it no longer worked.
From 2003 to 2005 I trained and served as an IDF combat medic, and we had an expression. “חובש טוב חובש מאלתר. [A good medic is a creative medic.]” So starting the evening before, I had Erin rub town the painful area of her mouth with alcohol gauze pads we’d brought in the first aid kit. So far, we didn’t know if they worked.
We had read, in our pre trip research, that an old dirt road came to the northern end of this lake. With both of our maladies, we needed to find it. We needed to think about aborting. But that was for tomorrow.
A large beach spread across a point on the western side of the lake. We had a campfire and pitched our tent on flat soft sands.
Check out pictures here!
GPS coordinates: 50.22452, -77.46698