To Emmonak

From Mountain Village, it is only 80 miles to the sea.  The weather took an unexpected turn and not only did the sun come out, but it was forecasted to stay around for a couple of days!  Can you believe that?

I paused briefly in Mountain Village in the evening to fill up on water for the final stretch.  I was greeted by a kid named Clayton who was running around the town’s boat landing holding the first fish he’d ever caught. He set it down only to investigate my kayak.

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After a quick dinner and a trip for water, I hopped back into my Folbot and paddled away.  70 miles to Emmonak.  80 miles to the sea.  It never really sunk in.

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The following morning I awoke to blue skies above but a thick fog all around.  Luckily it was very still and I was able to stay in the current and make good progress.  The fog did not burn off until noon.  A barge past by but the river traffic did not start to pick up until late in the afternoon.  More than I’d ever seen further upstream.  I’d see a couple of boats every hour zipping this way and that.  Most of them would drive over to check me out without slowing down, leaving wild wakes to bounce me around and I’d have to maneuver carefully to prevent myself from tipping.

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I had not planned on reaching Emmonak that evening.  I ducked into a side slough to get out of afternoon wind and lazily paddled down enjoying the contrast of a smaller space to the river which is now miles wide.  I love looking at the shallow root systems in cut banks.  I took some pictures and just floated enjoying the sun.

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I heard a boat coming down the narrow slough from up river.  Three people were aboard.  A father, his daughter and an Englishman working at the Fish Plant in Emmonak.  They had been out exploring that afternoon just for fun.  They insisted I take their extra food and past me an egg sandwich along with a soda.  It was around then that I realized I was only a couple of hours from town and that I could make it there that night.  No good camp sites presented themselves, so I ended up paddling all the way to the village of Emmonak.  It was around 11 pm by the time I arrived.  I set up my tent a little ways above the boat landing and carried my Folbot up on the beach.

Emmonak.

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Just 10 more miles to the sea.  Unbelievable.

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