Still paddling

The snowstorm — yes, I’m officially declaring a dusting of snow to be a snowstorm in line with our new climatic realities — may have you wondering, “whatever became of that guy who was kayaking from the Northwest Angle of Minnesota down the Mississippi and on to Key West?


Daniel Alvarez is the name and according to his blog, which is published daily but is two weeks behind for security reasons, he’s arrived at Memphis, and consumed a half gallon of ice cream — apparently a tradition for explorers of some type.

It’s an old tradition from the Appalachian Trail. At the halfway point, you eat a half-gallon of ice cream. I think it’s lucky and I’ve done it on every trip since, but when I got to Cairo, which seemed as good a halfway point as any, 40 degree temperatures and a town two miles up the Ohio River convinced me to wait. In New Madrid, I couldn’t find a half-gallon to buy.

“They gotta have ice cream,” I thought.

I checked the clock in my head and decided to risk it. Ten minutes later, I walked back down that old ferry road with two tubs of ice cream, 1.5 quarts each, a bit more than a half-gallon, but sometimes you have to make do with a little math.

The road felt as abandoned as ever, nothing but a muddy track through the woods along the levee. I looked down toward the water and there was the Looksha, just as I’d left her, bright yellow in the sun. No one would be there on a Sunday morning.

I drifted away, eating spoonfuls of ice cream, and enjoying the silence of a stopped clock.

My guess, and I haven’t exchanged emails lately, is he’s somewhere around Vicksburg or Natchez by now, where it was 72 degrees as the sun set.

If you’re not following his blog, Predictably Lost, you should be, assuming you have a constant appetite for tasty writing.

Update 12/9 – Daniel is close to Baton Rouge.