I can smell the BBQ. I start the day just 85 miles from Memphis. I got a hankering for BBQ yesterday. I decided to try for 50 miles today to match the 50 from yesterday which will leave only 35 for tomorrow where I can rest in an Air conditioned hotel room, eat cooked food, listen to live music while enjoying a cold beer. First I need to get there.
Its hot. 95 degrees by mid afternoon. There is not a cloud in the sky and I have no shade except a golf umbrella which I use when I take a break. I soak my hat and my neck buff in the river and put them back on. It really helps to cool me but the sun and heat are relentless. I row and row, dance and dodge barges once or twice an hour and drink water. Lots of water. At least a gallon plus a half a quart of iced tea I still have. All of it warm. I hide it under the tarp deep to try and keep from get really hot but. I row and I row.
By five o’clock I have 50 miles and set up camp on a sandbar. I lay in the tent an hour after sunset with the rainfly off and sweat as I watch the near full moon arc over me through the screen. Almost imperceptibly the temperature cools and the damp night air of the river comes to gives me some relief. Thirty five mile to Memphis.