October 2, 2011 – Day 24 – 21.5 miles
Morning on the eastern side of an island is just too nice to leave in a hurry. As the sun rose I drank three cups of tea and watched the barges pass. By mid-morning I was on the water and hoping to make it to Hastings to find more food. A mile from a lock I could see a barge a ways behind me. This motivated me to paddle harder as I did not want to wait for the barge to go through the lock. I raced, and beat the barge too the lock only to find another one right infront of me. I looked for a portage but everything was fenced off and I couldn’t find a way around. Slow down Ryan.
In Hastings I found a grocery store, and even better, a used bookstore that was open on Sunday. It was the most marvelous of bookstores – dark, quiet, and overflowing with books. From stacks on the floor to shelves nine feet high, books were everywhere. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that I named three titles and the owner found all of them within three minutes.
Moreso than deep water, barges, snakes, barges, or freezing tempertures I have found the most dangerous part of my trip: recreational boaters who feel the need to try to impress others with speed.