Weather gods aren’t smiling at the moment!

I can see the lake from where I am typing this.  For the last week or so the lake was very calm.  Before that, it was typical May weather… lots of wind and waves.  Yesterday I listened to the marine forecast and predictions of strong NE winds were in the forecast.  Sure enough, this morning at 630AM, the wind was blowing and the waves were 3 footers…  Small craft advisory, etc.  :-)   

One of the Lincoln Park Boat Club members (Ben Bradley) who works at Channel 7 is working on getting some coverage of Sunday morning’s launch.  Also got an e-mail from Windy City Sports (Kate Bongiovanni, who had talked to Tom Bamonte, president of CASKA) who said she wanted to talk to me about the expedition.  So we may get a little press coverage for the trip and the LPBC and CASKA.

I finished my tutoring for finals on Wedensday night and other than dealing with contractors who are putting a new roof on my building and masons who are re-building my parapet walls on my sunporch, I am focused on the trip.  :-)

I delivered a box of re-supplies to Mary Rasmussen and Dan Sandin last night so that when I hit Fairport, Michigan after the Rock to U.P. crossing I will have about 10 additional days of food.  I am planning on having my wife, Peggy, ship some more supplies to Bentley Whitman in Harbor Springs where I plan to do another re-supply.  After that I will wing it for supplies…   Various paddlers like my son Eric, my neighbors Krys Schneider and Tim Flentye as well as long time paddling cohort Dave Kaknes are all planning on joining me on the Michigan side so they can help with resupplies after that.

Dan and Mary tell me that there is a pay phone on Rock Island and that cell phone coverage is pretty good there and that I should be able to communicate my Rock Island crossing plans to them and John Schubert and Leslie who will be vacationing in the U.P at that time and supporting me in the U.P. if needed.  Dan was a good source of information about the crossing since he paddles around there frequently.  Sounds like there may be a bit of a welcoming committee in Fairport of local paddlers.

Peg Cipolla lent me a vacuum packing machine that I have used for custom trail mix, oatmeal, past and rice supplies.  My trail mix consists of nuts, sesame sticks, apricots, peaches, cranberries and cherries.   The Oatmeal mix is organic whole oats, dehydrated milk, cranberries, cherries, cherries, peaches and cinnamon.  Peg Cipolla also dropped off some magic bandages that assure quick healing of blisters, cuts, etc.  thanks Peg.

I have printed off 43 maps representing each segment/day of the trip with a couple more detailed maps showing all the tiny Islands between Rock and tthe U.P.  Today I will laminate them back to back so that I will have 22 8″ x 10″ maps with significant GPS locations and mileage noted.  I will also be bringing a chart that covers the entire lake.  The chart is not too detailed, but a good source of “big picture” info.  I have been using the lates version of Topo USA map software for trip planning.  I like it.  It has the obvious (shoreline elevations) and the capability to plot and measure routes as well as fairly user friendly zooming, labeling and even information links tied to locations and related web sites.  I have used that as well as Google maps to see satellite images of various spots.  If anything I have had too much information to absorb/record.   

I have spent the week finalizing my packing and today I will see if it all fits in my boat.  

Mary Jo Shear has committed to paddling the first 21 mile segment from the Lincoln Park Boat Club and then with all her extra energy is organizing a BBQ at her home in Ft. Sheridan after day 1 paddling.  Hopefully these NE winds will change to breezes by then!  Tom Bamonte will be joining as well up to Gillson PArk in Wilmette and perhaps a few others will join in for various segments.  If the marine forecasts are correct, this may be an intermediate paddler day. 

Well, got to get back to my packing/laminating/loose end stuff…  probably will do one more post Saturday night.   Launch will be promply at 8AM.              


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