Should we stay or should we go?

Dark foggy crossing

Yesterday was a 30 mile paddle day and we have done 22 miles today. We are one day out of Juneau. Its 8 PM, it’s been raining all day and we haven’t eaten enough. We were looking forward to this potential campsite that was next to a large waterfall that Anna had spotted on the map. The problem is when we rounded the corner we were not inspired at all by the falls, the power transfer station and the large 8 ft x 10 ft  white high voltage cable crossing sign.

We didn’t even land. We just floated 100 yards off the shore. Fog was starting to roll in along the cliffs and darkness was creeping above us. There is another three plus miles of open water between us and the next potential campsite. I look at Anna and she looks at me and we know what we might do. 

“Well,” Anna asks, “do we really want to do this”? In a question of we probably are going to do it but there might be some concern and we need to convince ourselves to do it or not to do it and be satisfied with whatever happens. We were warned about the current at this crossing as it is the mouth of a large river and told to go at slack tide to avoid large eddy lines and confused waters. At every large crossing there is a potential for it to become really nasty with any wind. At this point it was calm with only small ripples. 
We sat there bobbing in our kayaks going over why we should not cross and why we should. 
Pros: no wind, haven’t heard a boat for hours, it’s Friday night and not a high traffic inlet, we would be closer to Juneau, if we cross now we won’t have to worry about worse conditions in the morning, the next campsite might be better
Cons: could be a 45 min to 90 min crossing, it’s getting dark, fog is getting thicker and we are having a harder time seeing the other side, we are worn out, hungry, the tides are not at slack as suggested, we might have to worry about boat traffic in low visibility and we are not sure where the next campsite is.

“Ok, so really why should we do this ? Anna asks.

“Because we love adventure” I reply.

Without hesitation she picks up her paddle, takes a compass bearing and says, “That’s good enough for me.”


  1. Alright, already- don’t leave us hanging! Did you do it? Did you make the crossing? Are you still paddling? I know you will make it and do good! Good paddling from now on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. OK, I have to say when I saw the list of cons I thought, I know what Anna will say, “nope, we only have one life.” But in the face of a adventure all reasoning goes to the wind. Ugh!!! Being your mama as you take this trip is stretching me!!
    I am with rrgsat above, well???? Did you make it?
    May the wind and sun be with you in the days ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You guys clearly know what you are doing and I’m sure the pros far outweighed the cons. Adventure is one thing but people reading these amazing posts (like us) should always remember that your environment in Alaska is unforgiving of mistakes. Fog and boats can indeed pose significant risks. Looking forward to your reaching the glaciers!


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