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Monday, June 30, 2014

Jeff & Charlie lend a hand

Had contact with our nomads! They are well except for chigger bites and big, gross millipede sightings. They reached Calderwell Dam on midday Sunday, which is south of Maryville, Tennessee. Time wise they are right on schedule. 

Once they reached their portage point Sunday, they had to carry the canoe up a mountain. They were picked up by Jeff Wadley (left) and Charlie Wimmer who took them, their canoe and gear to town for some "dead cow" as Pete puts it (lots of red meat). They also drove them to a grocery for supplies and they put the canoe back into the water to paddle to their campsite for the night. They were on their way this morning.

This is my life now!
It's been raining a lot, so between that and the humidity, Pete and Nolan are used to being wet. Here's Pete under their lean-to during a pop up rain. Pete is trying to stay dry while Nolan is obviously getting wet to take the picture.

Nolan at a waterfall
There's still a long way to go with just one week into the trip. Pete said it's hard to pace themselves with the paddling and they have to mentally prepare themselves each day. And they are sore.

Pete's poetic words for the day were (paraphrased)....For every beautiful waterfall, there's a rainfall. For every star in the sky there's a mosquito.

Keep them in your prayers and keep spreading the word and this link.
Pete's Mom (Kris)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pete and Nolan on Wednesday just before they launched in Fontana Lake, North Carolina. They are officially on their journey. 

Our last communication was with Pete Wednesday morning when he texted his dad "we're off." 

Their plan was to reach the Fontana dam sometime today where they will portage. We hope to hear from them this weekend when they are in an area of good cell service. The GPS has not been working since Wednesday and we'll find out why when they call.

If all is going as planned, they will shove off again on the Little Tennessee River  and head toward Tallahassee. 

Will keep you all posted as we hear from them. Keep them in your prayers.

Pete's Mom
(Kris Stadalsky)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Don't Miss Your Life

"I know every stream and every wood... I have hunted.... and lived like my fathers before me, and, like them, I lived happily". - Chief Ten Bears from the Ketahto tribe.

We are just about to embark on our 3 month journey through the back country of America, and as the eagerness grows to be in natures arms, so does the realization of everything that I will stepping away from. But rather than being melancholy, it has made the life and blessings I have much clearer. It's easy to miss all the great things we have every day because that's just it - they are there every day.

When you are about to step off into a life that is separated from all things you are accustomed, it puts how extraordinary your life already is into perspective. We are all surrounded by great people and things, and just because we are used to them, doesn't mean they've lost their significance. Imagining without, the things you have now, truly moves you into a place of gratitude. So don't miss the beautiful flowers outside your window because your too busy dreaming about the ocean a far.

Posted by Pete

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Out Training on the Fox River!

Trudging through the mud and rock, currents and coves, today we took a 10 mile sampler down the Fox River. We ended the paddle with a 1.5 mile portage to simulate a soon to be familiar job. Bruised shoulders and tired calves, come with the territory, but it all seems plausible at this point.

Our route included 2 dam portages, the current was moderate, wind was favorable. The only surprise we encountered was fog clouds of nats. And im not kidding, i was breathing these suckers by the hundreds, and blowing them out my nostrils by the thousands. Picked a good 55 out my teeth. They were in such a mass that the river looked like it was hazed by a fog.

Lesson #1 - Call it a day before the sun goes down.

In its entirety, still a captivating float. Nature shows its beauty and teaches us how to slow down and catch our breath. Even if there are some nats in the air.

~Posted by Pete