The Kennewick-Man Expedition, DAY 22

When I woke up at 4 a.m. before dawn, a thermometer registered fifty nine Fahrenheit. I turned on a headlamp for a preparation for the departure, and then, five hours later, I paddled the kayak out at 9 a.m.

While I was paddling downstream on the Columbia River Gorge, I was seeing forever and ever lofty cliff well over three hundred feet height towered along both side of the river. I never got tired of taking in the ever-changing view of the gorge moving backward slowly on the kayak all day; Nature has infinite creativity in the art, in contrast we get tired of an artificial scenery due to its monotony. I watched shape of shifting cliff in admiration. And I enjoyed the now flowing single-mindedly.

The dry and azure atmosphere was set off against brown rock surface. Strong sun light highlighted color, light and darkness, and life and death. When the wind did not blow, I enjoyed paddling on smooth water, and when the wind blew, I enjoyed a feeling of exhilaration of sailing.

I kayaked twelve miles, and then, landed on a small park and pitch a tent.

I was worn to a frazzle by accumulated fatigues of successive days. “Why I am doing this…?” that thought suddenly occurred to me. The ways to Japan and Alaska became hazy, and I thought that “if I can reach even the mouth of the Columbia River, it will be awesome.”

But, I already anticipated from the planning phase that I would have that thought frequently during the long journey. And that thought probably come into my mind when I get tired not-completely. I know that, while I am fighting to the utmost limit truly, I laugh about myself doing a crazy idea, feel pleasure in doing it, savor the joy of being still alive, or sleep like a log.

The evening sun which was sinking below the western horizon, and the gorge which was becoming hazy in the east, were greatly magnificent. That beautiful evening was, that I could think, that I had been satisfied if I would have died in there, in combination with a feeling of satisfaction that at least I had been able to start paddling downstream in the river already.