I am glad to be home. Just a little update on how I am – my blister is healing, I expect to be back to going on long walks soon. I miss walking in the early morning. There is nothing quite like walking shortly after dawn in the quiet.
For the first time since the near drowning incident at Sidney (see: http://projectsalam.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/day-8/), I looked very closely at by wonderful little canoe. The boat was crushed in the incident, and when my husband, Dan Van Riper freed it from the strainer, and Dan managed to push it back into shape. There are a lot of horizontal cracks in the boat.
In this photo, you cannot see the cracks, but, they are there! The seat is loose, and the front piece at the bow is missing.
Here is an close-up of some of the cracks.
Dan and I took my little Hornbeck canoe back to Hornbeck boats today to see if it can be repaired. I was pleasantly surprised when Chad, at Hornbeck boats, said that yes, the boat can be repaired. It may take a while, but, yes the boat can be fixed. It won’t look like new (Dan says it will now have “street cred”), and the cracks will still be visible on the outside, but it will work just fine.
The boat weighed 12 pounds when I bought it. I expect it will gain a few pounds during the repair. But, that is OK. It will still be an extremely lightweight canoe which I will be able to easily carry around.
While at Hornbeck’s, we bought me a new, lightweight paddle and a new life vest.
I cannot emphasize enough how important wearing a life vest is. People say to me “oh, I can swim.” A life vest has nothing to do with swimming. The only purpose of a life vest is when a paddler is tossed out of her boat, that the life vest will bring her head out of the water so that she can be rescued. The ability to swim has nothing to do with this. I was tossed from my boat in less than a second. I had no time to grab anything – let alone grab a life vest and put it on. Fortunately, I always wear a life vest. My life vest got my head above water, which allowed me stand in the water and cling to a branch so I was not dragged away by the current.
This gave Dan enough time to rescue me from the raging Susquahanna river current. Though I was only a few feet from the shore, the current was so strong, I could not get out of the river. Dan held out his paddle to me, and I clung to the paddle as Dan pulled me through the raging current to the shore.
So, please, if you go paddling, please, please wear a life vest!
Journey for Justice Notes
I am disappointed that I could not walk the last 26 miles. I look at my stupid blister (yes, I did take a photo because Steve Downs asked me to – but yuck, but, really NO ONE wants to see it, Steve!) and even how much it has healed so far, I realize, I still can’t go walking long distances yet.
But, in the end, my walking was no longer important. What was important was the people we met and the relationships and community we built. I want to keep in contact with all the wonderful people I met along the way. And, I need to write more about my adventures and what it is like to walk a really long distance in our car-oriented society today. Our country was built by people walking long distances – I think it is interesting how doing it today is such a big news story.
Our justice system may be broken. Our rights may be gone. But, Americans are really good people and I met a lot of them on my trip. Not one person said anything negative to any of us walking. Not one. People were just so nice to us. Perhaps this is my Universalism coming out, but, I do believe that people, if given the choice, will do the right thing and that people are basically good and decent. And people do want justice for everyone.
I had so much support from so many people. I thank you all for your interest, support and help! And, most of all, I hope for good things for Yassin Aref.
- Lynne Jackson