George River Solo 2018

Day 16
Start Time: 7/30/2018 2:43 PM
Duration: 5:07
Distance / Total (km): 21.6 / 209.7

I woke up around 10:00am after a solid sleep; just lay about for an hour partially due to a rain delay. I moved over to the Pod at 11:00am; tea & oatmeal with the usual dithering. Back to the Marmot to pack up my sleeping pad and bag, more dithering until it was finally time for takedown and pack up. No sooner had I pulled the fly off the Marmot the rain showers returned, managed to get it packed up mostly dry. I started to load my gear into the canoe, dashing back to grab the Pod from blowing away as all the corner “anchors” were now in the boat. Last thing was to pack up the now completely soaking Pod that includes a huge amount of the dreaded wet sand.

It was quite late when I finally got underway, little allowance for dawdling if I am going to reach my target before dark. There was a bit of rain on the way to the first rapid, I put on my rain jacket, it would stay on all day. At the first R3 I went left of the island, it was a solid 3 that built to the finish, at the bottom I could see that the narrower right channel held a lot more rocks. The map indicates another R3 just below but I saw no sign of it.

The river takes a quick jog to the right, here there is another R3, bigger than the first it required quick weaving around unseen rocks, had a good run. About 2 km further, there are rapid indicators on the Topo; this spot is unrated and as far as I could tell non-existent.

At the double R2 I took on some water through part one and a bit more in the second which had a rocky finish. After a quick pump & sponge, I headed for the next R2, a bit shallow; briefly hung up near the top but finished ok. I considered stopping at the island just ahead, I had camped there in 2010 but it is a Grade C site and I had only covered 9km, to stop now would be rather silly since the weather is starting to improve as signalled by the appearance of a rainbow. There is one more set of rapids, R1 / R2, a very easy run.

About 5km to the lagoon shown on the map where I hope to camp, I paused for a quick snack, it was likely to take me another hour and the sun was starting to fall fast. I turned into the lagoon; at first I saw nothing but then tucked into the far end was a small strip of beach. If it had not been so late I would have continued searching for alternatives, my 2010 notes indicated a number of large beaches in the area, my inner self muttered “go looking for better and you might end up in the swamp again!” so I paddled over to the little beach.

I Immediately set-up camp (Marmot / Pod), I needed my headlamp for the final organizing in the Pod. It was going to be late dinner I think, after making tea and relaxing in the chair for a bit I made a bag of Spicy Sausage Pasta (Alpine Aire), it’s acceptable, better than the Pasta Roma, easy to finish the bag given the paltry snacks I nibbled on the water. Time for notes and planning for tomorrow, going to be well after Midnight by the time I move over to the Marmot.

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