Wednesday, August 29, 2012

      The past week has been full of great additions to our adventure. As we came into Greenville, MS we were passed by a north bound ski boat holding about 6 gentleman, but something seemed different about these guys. Instead of just the average waves we usually receive, this time we were welcomed with peace signs and whirly birds. Stevie and I looked at each other and thought, "Those  guys would probably be fun to meet up with."  We continued as usually though, en route to Greenville in search of a grocery store. About 2 hours later the same boat was headed back south and were headed our way. They pulled up and right away offered us a cold beer and immediately started asking questions. After talking to us for a bit, they brought up The River Jam, the annual event they put on that includes a live band, lots of adult beverages, and good people.
        After a bit of convincing and a few more cold ones, we decided it was the weekend and we could take a day off to enjoy this once in a lifetime party. The bright idea came up to load the canoe directly into their ski boat to speed up the process, so Stevie and I jumped in, had a bucket birgade to load the gear, then lifted the canoe into the boat. We were off, up the channel leading to the Greenville Yacht Club at around 47 mph. We were cruising and in good spirits. We arrived at the marina and tied the canoe up to Jimmy's pontoon and were told we could set up camp on another buddy's pontoon that would provide us a bit of shelter from the rain forecasted for the evening.
        The guys wanted to go back out and do a little more boating, so we set up our tents and relaxed a bit. A few hours later our new friends came back and gave us a ride to a local grocery store so we could stock up on things and then dropped us back off at the marina for the evening. The plan was for them to arrive back at the marina around 10 a.m. and we would load up all of our gear, the canoe, the band, their instruments, equipment, and a few of the families.
       We were very glad to meet the guys that day, they seemed extremely nice and you could tell they genuinely wanted us to be their guests at the party. Not to mention it was an exellent way to spread the PE awareness and to let people know about our FB page so that they could join our trip. One of the greatest things about the trip has been meeting awesome people that are extremely generous and are willing to help us with anything.
       The River Jam was awesome! We had an excellent time, meeting tons of great people, spreading the word of our trip, relaxing with cold beverages, and listening to some great music. We both want to come back next year for the 4th annual event! In the middle of it, a quick half hour storm blew through, but nothing that we hadn't already seen or couldn't handle.
        Everyone we met was super nice and made us feel extremely welcome. The guy's in the boat became our friends, people we plan to revisit later in life. We are so glad we met them and were able to experience such a great time. This trip has proven to us that there are a lot of good people left in this world and are willing to help us out anyway they can.
       I'm currently sitting at the house of one of the guy's we met about to have dinner. We are waiting out Hurricane Isaac and were plucked out of the river by Terry Etheridge. I will update one of these days all about our experience waiting out Isaac. It's been filled with all sorts of great people.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We are currently in Memphis, TN, staying in the care of John and Lynn Huggins. We met them through an old Clintonville resident that now resides in Memphis, Nancy and Arnold Roberts. Nancy had heard of our story after the article published in the Clintonville Chronicle, which she receives down in Memphis. I received an email shortly after letting us know we had a place to stay upon arrival, sadly they were vacationing back to the Clintonville area, August 17, a day after our arrival. Luckily her good friends, the Huggins, opened their house to us and brought us out for BBQ ribs, breakfast, and showed us the city. We've had an amazing time and have been treated like royalty. Couldn't have asked for nicer people, so glad we got to meet the Huggins, and wish we wouldn't have missed the Roberts.

Next stop Mississippi, after a delicious breakfast and grocery shopping of course.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's been a long hot week, travel distance has slowed due to the heat. We paddle as much as we can til about 1 in the afternoon, then seek shade til about 6-7 pm, then continue in the evening til anywhere from 10pm to 2 am. We use the lighted buoys that are found about every quarter-half mile, otherwise we just use our headlamps as a signal to other boats as a signal of our location. We are still meeting great people that are very interested in our story and enjoy chatting with us about our adventure. We've been incredibly lucky to meet a few restaurant owners that have given us a free meal. Miller Time in New Boston, IL and also The Drake in Burlington, IA. We greatly appreciate what they've done for us, a good meal helps us paddle those extra miles in the heat.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I finally have a computer in front of me, so I am able to update the blog much easier than off of an Iphone. We are currently sitting in the Hilton Garden Inn located in Dubuque, IA. Stevie's mom and sister, Emily, made the trip down here to meet up with us and get us this room so we could shower and have a good night sleep.

Lately it's been really hard falling asleep at night because it's so hot, usually around midnight it starts to cool down and you can doze off here and there for an hour or two, before getting woke up by a train, barge, or other random wildlife noises.

The trip has been going very well for the most part though. We have been meeting great people, eating much better than the first week (we have a cooler now), and seeing some very cool places.

It's much simpler to update the Facebook page compared to this page due to the app the Iphone has. When we are done paddling for 10 hours in the heat, set up camp, make dinner, I am usually just too exhausted to want to type anything substantial and stick to the ease of FB.

We've gotten a few more donations as well from generous people we have met along the way. We've even had our lunch bought for us when we stopped in for some burgers. It's great meeting such generous people.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We arrived at Lake Itasca last evening just before 9:00 p.m. Thanks to the Schley's for suffering through the 8 hour drive here. Got a nice campsite next to the lake to make getting in the water in the morning much easier.

The checks were dropped off in the mail as well, but we will still be raising money throughout the trip. A total of $1075 has made it to the Mayo Clinic for research towards Pulmonary Embolisms. Thank you to everyone one that has helped and to those of you that came to say goodbye.

P.s Facebook is a lot easier to update then the blog, make sure you "like" that page and watch for updates.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Less than 24 hours until we make our way to the headwaters at Lake Itasca. Stevie has been putting in a lot of work on the canoe and it is completely ready for the trip. Seats have been re-installed, bottom was re-sanded, and a fresh coat of varnish applied. Canoe looks amazing and is fully ready for this grand adventure.

I will be messing around with the app I have for this blog on the Iphone later today. I feel like Facebook will be a lot easier to update then this. If you haven't seen the Facebook page, make sure you check it out and like it to follow us there as well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This past weekend Stevie and I continued to finish the canoe, but the glue drying time took a little longer than expected, so when it came time to do a trial run down the river, we were unable to take our pride and joy. Instead we opted for the ole Alumicraft, which a trusty aluminum canoe that has been in the Schley family for over 30 years.

We wanted to see what kind of mileage we could do in a day, but wanted to do some fishing too. So we set off from Shawano, Hwy M boat landing to be exact, at roughly 6 a.m. Water was low and slow moving, we came to a few complete stops in the middle of the river due to low areas in the Shawano portion of the Wolf River. Fishing was pretty good in the morning, landing a young musky, some good size Northern, and some small mouth's. It slowed down a bit in the early afternoon though, that's when we concentrated more on just paddling.

Finally, just before 8 p.m. we made County Highway F, which we estimated to be around 30 river miles after taking a few guesses from some river loving locals. All in all it was a good paddle. We are very satisfied being able to put in that many miles, while fishing, in low, slow moving water.

Now it's just a matter of finishing the fiber glassing of the seats, which should be done this week.

We've also gotten a few more donations too, $160 more to be exact. Thanks to everybody for their generosity and support.