June 17

Please forgive me if I have been focusing too much on mud in these posts. Lo, it is with us always, but that doesn’t mean we don’t notice and even revel in the positive things that we are experiencing. The wildlife viewing has been fantastic. We see many deer every day, and have also spotted beaver, muskrats, wild turkeys, turtles, and dozens of species of birds. The weather has been better than anyone could expect. We marvel at the terrible and grotesque wrecks of formerly majestic trees. We break out into song many times a day. We laugh at each other struggling in the mud, losing shoes, losing balance, losing glasses, losing minds. We are so comfortable paddling with each other that there is no strife, even when we disagree. We have several periods of quiet time during the day where we paddle without speaking and simply listen to the birds. The only real difference on this trip is that our knees are creakier, our packs seem heavier, and our balance is questionable.
Yes, we are having fun. The paddling itself is not fun–it is tedious. But being together in this beautiful environment is certainly worth it. We are happy!

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