Getting ready

29 days until the gun goes off and the race starts and this last weekend my team captain, Tim Murray, made the long drive down from St. Louis. We spent the weekend talking about how he’ll get me from Kansas City to St. Charles, looking at how we’ll pack the gear into the boat, and making some modifications to the cockpit to make it more comfortable. Notice I called HIM the captain. The more I thought about it the more I realized that all I’ll be doing is providing the power to move the boat. In addition to all my physical needs, they’ll have to keep me motivated and encouraged. I know I won’t believe them if they tell me I’m “looking good” so we’re putting together a list of encouraging and motivating phrases the ground crew can use. Things such as:

  • “You appear gregarious.”
  • “You’re looking better than the last time you slithered by.”
  • “Brittney/Paris/Lindsey has just been indicted and won’t be in the news for the next 20 years.”
  • “Where are your clothes/boat/common sense/lunch/left arm?”
  • “You sure are pretty today.”
  • “Those sunburn blisters bring out the color in your eyes.”

Still working on this list, so any suggestions will be welcomed by all.
Seriously, he and the rest of the ground crew will have to find their way from one small town to another (often at night), plan the food, meet me when I pull off the river, and take care of me. It’s a lot to ask of these guys and it shows what great friends they are that they’ll take a week out of their lives to help me accomplish this.

So Saturday, after I got off the lake from my morning paddle, we pulled the boat up into the breezeway at the apartments and got to work. We spent a lot of time fitting padding into the seat area and, while it doesn’t make the boat any faster, it’s a lot more comfortable. And that will be really important during those long days on the river.

Today we loaded it up on Tim’s car and, after church (prayers help, remember?), threw it in the Red River for a test drive on some moving water. I only went about 5.5 miles but it was fun padding through downtown Shreveport, and around the casino boats. Average speed was just over 4 MPH for the hour and some odd minutes but – it was SO COMFORTABLE. Tim’s been snapping his camera so below a sample of the paddling weekend.

On a serious note, we’re up to over $2,200 in pledges for Haiti. Can we make $3,000? And, we welcome two new members to the blog – and the navy. Welcome aboard, Mary and Jacob.

See you next week.

Ned

Adjusting the hatch

Padding the seat

In the water for a short test ride

Testing

More testing

What a ride!

Headed to the Red River - A long boat and a short car

A long boat and a short driver!

A long boat and a short Driver!

In the Red River

Headed out

Upriver toward Shreveport

Paddle downriver

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

All I do is Paddle!

Finally! Back to the ramp

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10 responses to “Getting ready

  1. DANG DAD! You’ve got a pair of GUNS for arms! I can’t even believe it! Thanks to Tim for taking photos- they’re great!

    SOOOOOO proud of you!

  2. You might add, “Keep paddling, prune ass,” to those words of encouragement! We’re pulling for ya. Jim

    • Actually, in addition to padding the seat we drilled a couple of small holes in it – for drainage. So, I’ll no longer be sitting in a puddle of water all the time. But, I like the comment!

  3. Looking great… Do you have your snacks figured for the day.. there are some really good energy bars out there.. And energy drinks. This is so cool.. Can’t wait to see and hear all about it. lots of pictures..

    • According to Vince and Drew all I’ll be doing is paddling and eating. They tell me I’ll burn more calories than I can possibly take in. I do have some great energy bars but I wish I could find a way to keep a pizza hot in a kayak.

  4. Looking good Ned, best of luck!

  5. Eric Burkemper

    Looking good… I was looking at my calendar to see if I could see you off in KC… If my memory serves me correct you leave on the last Tuesday of July? You’ll have to send my some details on your launch and I’ll do my best to see ya off, as long as can catch a free moment while studying for my finals that are the same week.

    • Yep, it’s 8:00 AM on July 27. And it should be quite a show. But, finals are more important than watching the start of this race, young man. Hit the books!

  6. I misread your first motivational compliment. Thought it said, “You appear gorgeous.”. Seemed like a fancy way of saying you look good. (Or maybe a new English speaker was attempting the phrase.). Along that line: “It is apparent that you are well-behaved”, “You have good vision”, and “You are well-dressed today.”
    It’s exciting that the event is so soon! My prayers are with you and the team.

    • I like that one – ” It is apparent that you are well-behaved” I’ll pass that along to the GC! And, actually, I’ve picked up some new sunglasses (prescription), so I really WILL have good vision for a change. I’ll be able to see the barges as they come up on me on the river.

      Thanks for the motivational stuff,

      Ned

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