Aquablaze Day 4: A River Is No Bear-icade

The other evening, while basically camping in the mud, I reworked the canopy and rigged up a sail conversion. I had cure time to kill…



I had found a paddle awhile back in a pile of brush, and with all the bear bag rope I have, and Gorilla Tape of course, I fashioned this Huck Finn shit up.

I got boyishly excited when I remembered I had a wind app on my phone and it showed a gentle breeze turning 180 degrees to go my way.

I’m waiting eagerly for this breeze to be at my back as I approach the north-ish running longer-ish stretches of straight-ish river ahead. There never seems to be any wind in the direction I need, winding river going all directions be damned.

I dropped Solo off at a bridge by some town this morning. He had a family medical emergency and had to leave. So now I’m solo.

After a full day on river, I saw this unique place and couldn’t pass up the chance to have an easy stay.

I believe ownership of the property to go something like this, the front of the property is railroad easement. Still you are technically trespassing I suppose, but past the tunnel it is posted private.

Once I realized I was sitting on the easy street for bear river crossings, I didn’t mind so much going into the private side to get off the immediate path of the locals.

I made camp and slept with my food in my tent for the first time, with known bears about. All my rope is tied up in that damn canopy sail!

The bears in this area do seem to scare easier though. However, just a few miles away in the Shenandoah National Forest they are not hunted. I’m still working off my prior observations of protected bears being much more… inquisitive. So I’m not really sure what attitude I might deal with. And I’m not sleeping in a damn bear funnel tunnel! Again, I left no trace. And yes, that’s includes burying the morning regulars…

The next morning I met Mark, a great local guy who skipped his morning of fishing to hang out with me and converse instead. We both learned a little something from the other and I really enjoyed his time.

4 thoughts on “Aquablaze Day 4: A River Is No Bear-icade

    • So the freakin footage that caught all of 90 seconds of awesome sail was on GoPro. I tossed the phone because I needed all hands. Actually 4. Things went sideways and the whole sail took a dive, wrapped under the boat and filled with water. It was a minor emergency. And GoPro was mounted for it all. Was going to make an entirely different video.. bummer. But I’ve redesigned the entire canopy/sail again for a solo experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That tunnel was a stopover from the days of steam engines. The trains would pause there to take on water for the boilers. It’s one of my favorite places on the river.

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