A concerned reader just wrote a comment asking if I was dead. I guess maybe I should remember to update my website now and then!
My early August trip was a complete and utter bust, and that's all I'm going to say about it for right now. There is a story there to be told, but I have some unfinished business to attend to that won't happen until next Spring. I'll likely post up a video about what happened in August shortly before I head off to write Chapter 2.
On the bright side, I slipped in a 4 day trip just a couple of weeks ago (in late September). It was a gorgeous, relaxing, solitude-filled escape that was a great way to end my camping season. It's unlikely I'll get out on another trip this year; life and work are just too busy. It will probably be a couple of months until I can find time to put together a trip video for it even, but I'll get that done when I can.
I'm thinking maybe a new kayak is in order for next year. I'll replace my Delta 16 with a ... Delta 16. Seriously, I love it that much. They released a new model about a year after I bought my current one that has two big upgrades - a better hatch locking system, and a cockpit 'rim' that's actually part of the mold rather than a separate piece. I've been fighting a battle with my cockpit rim the last few years - it's separating, and every attempt I make to glue it or epoxy it back in place fails the first time I portage with it. Sooner or later it's going to rip off, and I'm going to be completely screwed. Also I'm not kind to my kayak. A beaver dam means paddle faster. I drag it over rocks and drop it occasionally when I lose my footing while portaging. It's got patches on its patches in some places, but my single biggest problem is the back 6 inches of the 'keel' such as it is, which is basically swiss cheese. My repairs there don't last either, and as a result the rear dry hatch starts taking in water. On two of my trips this year I had that problem, despite repairing it before each. So... new kayak to abuse? Maybe - just gotta figure out how to pay for it. And if I do buy a new one, if someone wants a very-much-not-gently-used Delta 16 for a steal of a price, let me know. The keel can be repaired and will stay repaired if you don't treat it the way I do.