Monday, May 21, 2012

Bushwacker update 17

I don't even know where to start it was such an event filled day with the Bushwhacker; One thing for sure this work thing I do gets in the way of blogging; OK I hit it hard with friends at Crawfish after work and knocked back 10 hot wings and a few beers... I'm just saying... 

A word from Mike Smith:

I'm home and at least half healed, still feeling light headed with a queasy stomach. I'm guessing I picked up some bacteria off my water line which I use to drink out of like a camel back drinking system. It occasionally would fall in the bottom of the canoe which of course had river water, mud etc.  All I know is late Sat. I started to getting a queasy stomach and thought it was from drinking to much Gator Aide so I stopped drinking that and went to straight water. Also during the afternoon I got a bad case of the hiccups and heart burn from hell! That caused some breathing problems. After reaching my goal of 50 miles the first day in 15 hrs. its time to pass out, the sleeping pad under the stars was perfect and felt awesome for this tired and drained ole body. But them pesky hiccups insisted on keeping me company thru the night, ever try sleeping with the hiccups? I might have slept an hr.

Launching at 6:20 Sun. morning I felt off kilter with an upset stomach and tired but ok to push on. As the early hrs wore on and I started eating and drinking I also started throwing up. My energy level dropping off as fast as the temperature was rising. The log jams and upstream paddling were demanding. By noon it was evident I'm in trouble. Temperatures pushing up to 90 the sun baking and taking its toll, continually puking up everything I drank and ate. Them damn Energy bars taste just as bad coming up as they do going down! George and I would often stop and drench our self in the cool water but with the temperatures soaring it just wasn't enough. We slowed down the pace, stopped and took a couple 20 minute breaks, stopped every 15 minutes but the stomach wasn't having any of it now the dry heaves have set in. I'm feeling delirium, sweating profusely, seeing things, and walking like a drunken sailor while out of my boat, cussing at myself to get it together and keep moving. Obviously that wasn't working, after taking another break George was getting concerned and  said we should to go to a house across the river and pull out. That was around 2:00pm I wanted to push on for a little while longer hoping I would recover I hated the thought of pulling out. It wasn't long after that I realized George was right I was going downhill like a sinking ship forcing each paddle stroke gaining little doing it. The time has come this is it, I called Michael Doty who was in the area and he met us at a nearby bridge, thanks Mike, that was after 4:00 pm. I think we made 17 miles in 9 hrs. not good but not bad considering the circumstances.

 In retrospect the chain of events over 2 days and nearly 70 miles were almost comical, not to funny at the time but non the less I would never have guessed anything like this would happen leavening me limping home ward bound beaten, bedraggled, confused and worst of all not making it to the finish line. All the planning, training, reading maps, physically and mentally preparing for the challenge wasn't enough this time around. As I found myself in the middle of a "Perfect Storm".

Thanks to everyone for the help and encouragement. Wishing the reaming teams the best, have a safe trip to the finsih line.



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