Before I departed from Ed’s home, we checked the weather reports carefully. It was cloudy, but the reports showed that I was at the tail end of the front. I was back on the River at noon in a light rain. Sure enough, the front spotted me departing and made a U-turn. Within one hour, I was in a downpour, accompanied by lightning. It took me awhile to find a flat area on the shoreline to pitch my tent. By the time I got my tent up, I was soaking wet and cold.
I texted Ed to report that I was okay. He offered to pick me up in his boat, but I said I’ll ride this out. Three hours later, it was still raining hard. Twice, the rain let up and I took down my tent. Both times, as soon as the tent was back in my canoe, the rain came right back in full force. Do you see a pattern here?
In 2014, while I was at high camp on the North side of Mt. Everest, a cyclone developed in the Bay of Bengal. The front was moving away from Mt. Everest so my weatherman, Mike Fagin in Seattle, did not report it to Sharon or me. After I left high camp for the summit, the cyclone turned right back towards the mountain. Mike was horrified because it was too late to report this change in direction. The storm slammed into the mountain just as I reached the summit. It lasted for 4 days and was the worst storm in over 12 years. The descent in the storm was terrifying. I write about this in the articles section of my website-“Summit Night 2014.”
Yes, there is a pattern when it comes to weather and me.
Finally, after four hours, I threw in the towel. I turned my canoe upside down and texted Ed. He picked me up in his boat and we returned to his home.
I enjoyed a great bbq dinner with Ed, his son, Guy, his brother-in-law, Courtney Phillips, Courtney’s brother, Redigo Phillips and Gus Hogue. They are all great southern gentlemen. Redigo’s family and my family share a common grief. He lost his son, Luke, five years ago in an automobile accident. He was a Freshman at the University of Mississippi. As Redigo said, “you limp the rest of your life.” Like my family, a strong Christian faith has gotten Redigo and his family through this tragedy. Redigo is also very involved in the special needs community, and he gave me two books to read on my trip.
I’ll try again today. The forecast is for rain on Tuesday.
Thanks Ed, Hunter and friends for showing me such a great time.
Every day is the best day of the year– especially meeting wonderful new friends, like Ed, on this Mississippi adventure.
When you started this I envisioned you camping next to the river and roughing it nightly. The people you have met and all the hospitality you have received is amazing!!
Bruce and Melissa Eckhoff