Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Unexptected Turn of Events MR340

Just after the second squall. I am just sayin, that was one heck of a wind machine, not cool. We ran in to some tubers down the river who were a little shell shocked as well.

This is the dredge lake coming in after 10 and a half hours on the river, too dark, too close for comfort. Another half hour and we would have had trouble finding the canal going in to the lake. Catawissa is a put in outside of Pacific MO.

After the storm the water turned "silty" but it was absolutely gorgeous for the rest of the trip.

Prior to the storms, the pythons that would later snap the masts off of my turbo fins resulting in me paddling instead of pedaling.

Not if it would torrentially storm, when....

Chris Ploch and I headed out to do a float of somewhat "epic" proportions, in order to get a good burn in prior to the mountain trip this Friday to Colorado. I will do a lot of riding mountain bikes out there, but no pushing of the Hobie Pedals. The Hobie training does not require as much time in the saddle as riding bikes. We simply do an epic run about once a week and there is a long burn, due to the effort. We did 50 miles on the Meremac yesterday, barely 6 miles and hour average. This seems to equate to over 100 on the Missouri River, do to the current being faster on the big river. We were in the boats for 9 and a half hours yesterday, that which is important to our training. We need to sit for long periods of time and pedal (not paddle) our boats. It was hard when we started back in Feb., but now it has gotten better. We will spend three to four days in these boats starting July 27th, in our Hobie Adventures sponsored by Alpine Shop, competing in one of the hardest self propelled boat races in the world, the MR340, Hobie Kayaks from Kansas City to St. Charles MO, 340 miles, on the Missouri River. Chris and I are in the new pedal class, a specail kind of boat where we use our cycling conditioning instead of our arms.

It goes without saying that you have to be prepared in order to handle some of the adversity of the longer training efforts. Case in point, yesterday. We are usually prepared from a nutrition perspective, hydration, backup float gear. Hell, I even have fishing and a dry box filled with whatever, in case we run in to problems. But the weather kind of dictates things in a way that you have no control. Twice yesterday we got hit with severe thunderstorms. Once with lightening forcing us to hide under our boats. Another with winds so strong there was more debris in the air than in the water. At one point we didn't know it was safe to be in the woods for fear of dead wood falling. We were at the center of the whole thing. Unbelievable.

Then, once we resumed and got a decent pace going, once the sun started to warn us of our hurry to get to Catawissa, our take out for the trip, once we finally figured out that our projected 6 hour float would be well over 10 hours (minus the assorted time out of the boat for cover), I broke a mast on one of my fins. This is what propels the boat forward. The Hobies don't really have redeeming qualities unless they are used with the mirage drive (fins). So fortunately I had plan "B", which was to use my paddle, not a good one, to make the final 15 miles back to Catawissa. Let me tell you something. 15 miles is a long time for somebody who has trained with their legs for 4 months. And not as much as lightly paddled all year. This after 7 hours of heat, rain, exhaustion. I had to dig deep, likely deeper than I have in a while. This on the heals of a horrible State Mountain Bike Championship, where I had to pull out due to the heat. I was quite happy with my performance on the boat today, overcame lots of adversity. This was likely one of the toughest things I have had to do. Being exposed to the weather, equipment failure, and the need to get back before dark, which was barely the case. Had we spent another 20 minutes out there, we would not have been able to see our estuary to the dredge lake at Catawissa. Going down stream would have been a disaster.

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1 comment:

Dave Ploch said...

Stay safe out there !!!!