RYOTA YAMADA

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Kennewick-Man Expedition, DAY 21


I woke up at 6 a.m. I ate spaghetti, broke up a tent, and racked my brain to put massive equipments and foods into the kayak as if to solve a 3D puzzle. In consequence, I wasted 5 hours for just a preparation for the departure. At 11 a.m., although it was a late departure, I paddled out on the Columbia River.



The water surface where a gentle breeze blew just occasionally was the vast and smooth expanse of deep green, and streaks of white clouds crossing each other weaved a beautiful pattern on the azure sky. The sun light passing through dry atmosphere without diffuse reflection illuminated the whole landscape vividly. And, it was hot, so, if I had not drunk water frequently, I would have had sunstroke. A rive width extended two miles. While I paddled on the middle of that river, because I was surrounded by water as far as I can see in every direction, “a sense that my body is floating on water” coming from a somatic-sensation, which further expanded beyond my body to the kayak, expanded in a horizontal direction infinitely, and then, was changing into “a sense that my body is floating in space”.

The river ran into the Columbia River Gorge. The canyon stretched on vast expanse of dry land, like digging a trench deeply by a chisel. A landscape changed drastically. A river width narrowed to about one mile, and magnificent walls of rock towered along both sides of the river endlessly. “This is the land of North America…”, I was excited with the glorious sculpture carved out from energy of the earth.

Although I wanted to land by around 3 p.m. with considering a pacing of the expedition, I was not able to pitch the tent at both two places where I and Phillip had marked out, therefore I was looking for another while paddling downstream, and then, when finally I found an unoccupied ground by a rail load with difficulty, already it was 7:30 p.m. I was on the kayak for seven hours and paddled seventeen miles. I was worn out.



Quadruple headed Diesel locomotive pulling freight cars few miles long passed through right by my tent at midnight. The earth shook violently, and a terrible rumble swirled, as if there was Hell. But, although it startled me, I liked that power to impression.