August 30, 1997
Dunes, Oregon, USA

During the paddle between Florence, and Reedsport, the conditions were excellent, however, it was horribly boring. The coast is almost perfectly straight. Once I was off shore, the scenery didn’t change all day. All I saw was sand - mile after mile after mile...

The only good thing about paddling a straight coast, is that it is easy to see how far you traveled. To cheer myself up, all I had to do was look back. The place I left the day before looked like a speck of dust, and I’d think to myself, "Vancouver is a long ways back there... Wow... I’m amazing! I have just paddled over 400 miles! That’s incredible!" At that moment, I decided to give my kayak the name, "Instant Gratification" -- because that is what it gave me.

I was still out on the water when the sun went down that evening. It’s always frightening for me to watch the sun disappear when I’m on the water; especially when I don’t know how far I have to go before I can land. That night, my main concern was finding water. Lately, I have only been carrying enough water for the day. Just as I was really starting to get worried, I saw a truck and some tents on the dunes a mile ahead. Fifteen minutes later, I surfed onto the beach, and before I had my kayak out of the water, I was being offered food and cold drinks.

There were two couples, Lisa & Jason, and Dan & Keri. After they helped me haul my boat up, they fed me cheese burgers, and potato chips. We sat around the bonfire all evening telling jokes and funny stories.