Thursday, March 27, 2014
Last night the wind was minimal and I slept well. I'm up at dawn to take a few more photographs.
Since I didn't get a proper dinner last night I'm especially hungry this morning. After returning from the overlook I put on a double dose of oatmeal and light the stove.
While it's cooking I turn on the radio to hear the weather forecast. Oh joy, more wind, today is supposed to be just like yesterday. That's it. I'm done. There's a perfectly good hotel just across the bay. I'm sure they would be delighted to take my money and give me one of their deluxe, wind-free rooms for the night. I start packing.
I'm packed and the oatmeal hasn't even started boiling yet. Damn, the fuel canister must be getting low. I turn up the flame and give it a few more minutes but finally give up and eat it half-cooked.
By the time I launch the wind has already whipped up white caps here and there across the bay. Once I'm out of the small, protected cove I turn and head toward the marina at about 45° off straight downwind. Both the wind and the waves are pushing me about, partly helping, partly not. They're pushing me downwind but with each passing wave are nudging me to turn me broadside to the waves, not good. I have to stay vigilant and but thankfully I reach the dock without incident.
Safely ashore it starts to sink in that I'm done. I paddled from Wahweap to Bullfrog. Damn! A sense of great satisfaction washes over me and I breath in and savor the moment.
Now to get to the hotel.
I can probably hike there, it's not far, maybe half a mile, but I can't take the boat; obviously.
I ask the park ranger/police about leaving my kayak until Pippa arrives with the car, they would prefer I don't leave it there and ask me to hang out for a few minutes. Soon they come back and let me know they've arranged transportation for me and my gear. Apparently a bass fisherman whose boat swamped and called for a rescue is coming in. He's going to give me a lift. He motors in, ties up to the dock and heads up the ramp to get his trailer. After loading his boat on the trailer, we lift my kayak on top of his boat and drive up the road to the hotel. He dumps me on the front lawn and heads off.
I check in, get a ground floor room and haul all my gear to the back patio.
A long hot shower, dinner in the restaurant, a soft bed... all of it wind free.