The Kennewick-Man Expedition, DAY 20

Once again, Masako brought rice balls to my tent. The rice balls eating apart from Japan are very delicious as I could never get tired of those, and gave me a full of vitality.

Yesterday, although it was the first day of the journey, a preparation for the departure was so easy because I did not load the kayak and did not set the sail on the kayak according to the yesterday’s itinerary which I just paddled back from the place Kennewick Man was discovered to the tent. But today, I was ready for a hard work of a preparation for the departure, because I was going to load the kayak all of equipments and foods and was going to set the sail on the kayak according to the today’s itinerary which I was going to make a big journey from the tent to far downstream sites. I had told Mike that “I want to leave here at around 10 a.m.”

I started the preparation from 6 a.m. I was not able to load easily massive equipments for six months and foods for one month into the kayak. Although I had to squeeze loads through the cockpit and two small hatches into the kayak, but the loads got caught on an intricately-assembled frame within the kayak. In addition to that, it was very difficult like a 3D puzzle to store all equipments and water-proof-bags which had varied shapes and sizes into the intricately-shaped inside of the kayak while decreasing empty space as possible. I was trying that 3D puzzle over and over again, as I was changing a position of loads and an order of putting loads into. I was anxious that all loads were not going to be stored into the kayak. From morning, beside me, Mike watched over me who struggled. Although I continued it without rest as became all sweaty, high noon just flew by, and when I somehow managed to depart by tying loads, which I had not been able to store into the inside of the kayak any more, on the top of the kayak on an ad hoc basis, it was already 4 p.m. I expended 10 hours for the preparation for the departure.

However, once I paddled out on the water, then it got rid of all my fatigue as if by magic, and my heart was filled to the brim with the joy of floating on water.