8 days and change

Eight days, 20 hours, to go and this time it looks like it will really happen. The Missouri River is below flood stage in most places and is coming down everywhere else. So, it looks like we’ll have a good compromise between fast and safe.

I’m hoping for a fast river. I went out on Cross Lake yesterday to see how far I could paddle. My goal was 50 miles. I figure if I can make that distance on a lake I should be able to hit the checkpoints the first day (and stay in the race) on the river. Well, I travelled 41 miles in 12 hours yesterday and I want to tell you that last hour was tough. The heat index was 107 and I was out of water the last four miles. I briefly considered filling up with water and going out again but just didn’t have it in me. So, I really don’t know if I can make the distance on the first day of the race. The good news is that the padding and cushioning my friend Phil gave me REALLY worked. My arms, back, hands, and stomach hurt but I was sitting in comfort all day. Thanks again, Phil.

If you’re checking in on my progress during the race, watch for my times at Lexington and Waverly. I’ll need to hit Lexington (50 miles into the race) by 5:00 pm and then paddle another 23 miles to Waverly by 9:00 pm. That means a 5.62 mph average to make it in time. This is the point where about 1/3 of the racers drop out or are disqualified because they don’t hit the checkpoint in time. If I can make it to Waverly I think I just might make it all the way.

On another note, we’re up to $4,791.00 in pledges for Haiti! That’s $14.09 per mile, $.0266 per paddle stroke. I have a dymo label maker sitting on my desk at work and plan to print out a label with the final figure per mile and stick it on the boat where I can see it during the race. What a great incentive to keep moving. Thank you all so much.

That’s it for this week. Yesterday was the last time to get in the boat before KC. This next week will be spent letting my body heal, organizing all the gear for the race, doing laundry, and all those mundane tasks.



8 responses to “8 days and change

  1. I just have to believe there’s going to be a lot of divine intervention along the way plus countless prayers for you. All our best and safe and speedy paddling! Jan and Brian

  2. yeah…i’m gonna be there too…along the way

  3. Jake and I stopped in Lexington and Waverly on our road trip adventure. We had lunch at a BBQ joint in Waverly, good food. That is where we ran into a support crew for two guys out on the river. They were trying to set the speed record and were 20 minutes behind schedule. We went down to the landing after lunch and the paddlers had already left. Pulled in just long enough for food and water.
    Tell your support crew to buy some peaches at the fruit stand just before they get to Waverly. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for the update Ned, thinking about you. Go get’em!

  5. If the MR340 becomes the MR49 or some other number, it still shows your committment to such a worthy cause. I RECOMMEND ALL DONERS CONTRIBUTE THE FULL AMOUNT NO MATTER WHAT NUMBER OF MILES YOU PADDLE!!!

    • Leslie, this whole adventure is turning out a lot like our trip to Haiti. I’m getting way more out of it than I’m putting in. What a great trip it’s turned out to be, I can’t wait for the next part to start.

  6. Way to go Captain Ned!! Any one of the three is a stunning achievement: 41 miles OR 12 hours OR surviving a 107degree heat index….all three is “over the top”…you’re ready for anything. Speaking of “over the top”, if you’ve not seen Roger’s email yet, he put you pledge total “over the top” — over $5,000 with his pledge of $340 or a total of $5,131!!

  7. Mike, thanks for letting me know! We’re in KC now making the final preparations and kicking back a little. I’ll make another post on Monday some time and then hit the river on Tuesday AM. Watch for updates as my daughter takes over the blog for the duration. 1 day, 21 hours!


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