Sarah and the kids dropped me back off where I ended yesterday. Harper took a quick shot of Sarah and I before I paddled toward Wheeling West Virginia. Harrison (Bubby) photo bombed us:) This trip has been a good measure of our family. Not only does it feel strong, it feels like we're deepening our identity - More than Conquerors. I watched my Dad lead our family so I'm thankful to continue that legacy. He modeled the way not only by being strong and reliable like a train. He was equaly selfless and supportive. My Dad engineered a strong family design with a foundation cemented in unshakable faith. His iron beams was his how he treated my mom. He was married to my incredible mother for 40 years. Sarah and my Mom have a lot in common so it was natural for my Dad to encourage me to, "put a ring on it" when I was dating Sarah. His advice always aligned with my original design. I knew Sarah was the one the second I ran into her at 45 East in Oxford Ohio 14 years ago.
I was paddling by this power plant and a guy in a hard hat waved at me from the very top. Short after this, I noticed a massive nest on top of a tree. I then noticed a large bird with a white head. I heard Bald Eagles were making a comeback on the Ohio. One of the best wildlife encounters so far.
Water level is still high but not nearly as rough as yesterday.
Coming up on Pike Island Lock & Dam. Although the first Lock wasn't bad at all, I still dont enjoy the process.
The Lock master was nice. He told me to wait for the sound of the horn and a green light.
I entered into the chamber which feels like a giant water coffin. The gates behind me closed and the Lock Master told me to tie up myself so I held on for dear life. The water dropped 18 feet!
I was flying today! I made it to Wheeling around 2:30pm which shocked Sarah when I called her. I paddled beneath the 27O bridge, I remembered driving over it a few days prior. I eagerly looked out the window trying to take as many mental notes as I could with a short glance. I noticed it was very choppy. Well, it was even choppier up close. It felt like I was on the ocean. A few waves where high enough to partially crash into the cockpit. There were a ton of barges in this area and that's probably the reason for the high swells. I decided to just get through it so I powered down river another 7 miles so I had smoother water to start tomorrow.
It gets lonely out there. Sarah and the kids broke the loneliness when they met me 35 miles from where we started the day. We Conquer!