RYOTA YAMADA

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Kennewick-Man Expedition, DAY 36


When I woke up by myself at 1:30 a.m., the Milky Way extending across the night sky was so wonderful, and a westerly wind became gentle. It was the change which finally came on the fourth day of stay in Roosevelt Park. I started to prepare for departure.



At 6:10 a.m., I paddled the kayak out into the Columbia River. Once I floated on the water, impatience and anxiety, which I felt during I patiently waited for a chance for a strong wind to die down in the tiny tent, vanished and then I felt fresh and exhilaration.

Today, Cary accompanied me on the kayak trip from starting point to Sundale Park as rest stop for three hours as a first-time my traveling companion. Sharing a joy with friend was also so wonderful.

For the first one hour, the wind stopped. In this windless condition, my kayak was much slower than Cary’s kayak. Because, my kayak had a sail and outriggers acting as resistances against air and water, was able to be rowed by only a single paddle, and was overloaded. Cary couldn’t bear to see and towed me with rope.

After that time, once again an unwanted headwind began to blow. But I was able to sail into downstream in a zigzag manner, because the headwind speed was an about 10 Mile/Hour which was weaker than yesterday and I could sail into.



After we had an hour’s rest in Sundale Park, we went off in other directions, Cary paddled upstream for turning back to Roosevelt Park we departed at, and I paddled downstream.

Again the wind stopped. I kept paddling as I reduced paddling strength for preventing a consumption of physical strength within several hours. I was prepared to continue paddling as far as I could go even though night would fall, because today was a rare chance that the strong headwind had died down.

Since a scale of the canyon was so large which the width of the river was almost 1 mile and the height of the cliff was more than 300 feet, a landscape of faraway shore was hardly moving while I was paddling the kayak in the middle of the river. Also I could not see my progress. But, I never got tired of looking at the canyon, which was deeply carved into the dull red earth and went on forever, from sunrise to sunset on the kayak, and my heart was being fascinated with it.



The wind condition got better from windless to a slight tailwind. The kayak was moving forward at about 2 Mile/Hour on the water which flew at about 1 Mile/Hour, as the tailwind was filling the sail.



The canyon was dyed beautiful golden color in the sunset as if I have wandered into a world in tapestries. At 7:20 p.m., I reached at Le Page Park in front of John Day Dam. I spent 13 hours floating on the water, and traveled for 25 miles.

Cary waited me, and held out a celebratory Corona Beer with a big smile on his face. And then he supported to make a detour from John Day Dam by his camper. Tonight we are camping together in a dry riverbed.