Day 5: (July 10)

Rotten sleep – slight slope and lumpy under the thermorest  mattress - aches and pains of starting a canoe trip start to manifest in my middle aged body. Back especially sore due to disk degeneration issues. Groan…

Thunderstorm which threatens to develop into full fledged shower doesn’t materialize. Temperature a balmy 17C with thick overcast, paddling pleasant with light tail winds which assist my town fat weary arms. Canyon walls alternately develop on either side of riverbank, orange sulfurous weathered walls. Huge stick eagle nests piled high over years of  repeated use, some hanging down 10 or 15 feet interrupt the blank walls. Swallows  nest under the cliffs’ overhang, seeking protection from predators and weather.

The map says  ‘sinkholes’ – we stop to investigate, wandering around sparsely treed knolls, enjoying the leg stretch and scenery. What is a sinkhole anyhow? None of us knows and speculation runs rampant as we inspect different features, all devoid of water.

The wind builds steadily during the day by 3pm we stop, giving up against the headwind. The tents are just set up before heavy wind gusts strike and the downpour begins.