September 23, 2010–Walnut Bend (mile 681)

Winds very high today, around 20 mph gusting to 30 mph.  It creates incredible chaos on the surface, as though I were traveling in a basin which had been sloshed a few times, the waves rebounding off the banks and commingling to make a perfect mess of water.  Needless to say it was a bit grueling today and I was relieved to make camp on the Arkansas side.  Yet another perfect sandy beach, with a stand of willows to hang my hammock.

The surface of the river so powerfully disturbed today that I found my pedal gears slipping occasionally from the forces exerted on them.  I made some adjustments to the angle at which they enter the water and it seemed to answer for a solution.  This also necessitates that I recline further back in my seat, which might reduce my wind drag by a fraction.  It was in the upper 90s today, but since I was sopping from waves and blasted with wind I hardly noticed.

I have entered, since leaving Memphis, the Mississippi Delta, and will remain therein until the bluffs of Vicksburg.  Sand bars, revetments, cottonwood, and willows are likely all I will see.  The towns are few and far between.  I saw four white-tailed deer grazing on the sand this afternoon–glad to see wild things.  I am now camped across the river from Mississippi, the ninth state I have seen on this expedition.

Day 50: 52 mi

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