Angle to Key West: Crash Landing (12/6)

Riding to Will and Allie's from the boat ramp

Mile 265 of Lower Mississippi at St. Francisville – December 6, 2012

Wind. Rain. Sand. Dirt. Grit. It all soaked me last night. It covered me. It found its way onto everything that touched my skin. The tent, the sleeping bag, my clothes. I went to sleep too tired to do anything, too exhausted for the simplest task. I didn’t eat because the hatch with food felt too far away from the door of my tent, the act of pouring fuel and striking a lighter beyond my will. I lay there looking at the hatch, waiting to lose consciousness.

You world breaks apart sometimes. It happens so fast, like a light switch flipping off and you just want to be clean, to touch something that doesn’t feel like wet sandpaper, to sit in a chair. The grime along the rim of your water jug, the mud on your feet, the wet fabric of your rain-soaked shirt, it buries you and you can’t escape, you can’t just walk home and take a shower, you can’t lay on the couch and turn on the TV. You are out in it. That’s why I lay and waited to sleep, waited for my mind to disappear, because it was the only way out. The only refuge I could take.

This morning stole all my will, all my ability to cope with grit-covered equipment, but I knew if I could just make it to St. Francisville, Louisiana, if I could just manage thirty-six miles, there would be a boat ramp and Will and Allie were there, connected to me by degrees of friends and family, waiting to catch me as I crashed, waiting to let me piece back my will that one bad night yanked from underneath me before I even realized I needed to hold on.

Allie drove up to the boat ramp, we strapped the kayak on Will’s car, and I felt silly about it all, but it’s easy to feel silly when you know you’ll wash away the day under a hot shower and close your eyes inside four sturdy walls.

5 responses to “Angle to Key West: Crash Landing (12/6)

  1. For EVERYONE reading Daniel’s posts! Let’s make it a great Christmas for him and everyone else reading his posts by each of us adding a “comment” post on the December 25th post. If we all post something, anything, it should be a lot of fun for Daniel and all of us. My very best to everyone sharing this wonderful journey!

  2. What a paddle in the park this is!!! Great description of what it can be like on certain days…Thanks to Will and Allie for being the carrot you followed to haven!

  3. I have been following you and just want you to know how interesting your journey is and I hope you are ok and manage to continue and even have some fun soon. I cannot imagine the courage it takes to undertake an adventure alone like this. Merry Christmas and good luck to you!

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