September 26, 2010–Greenville, MS

Was awakened late last night by the yammering of numerous coyotes, sounding very near.  I got out of my tent to howl back at them, which had the effect of silencing them.  I could not see them, but they seemed quite close.

A very pleasant day today, yet again devoid of any riverside settlements, though I did see several houses at times.  Though these empty stretches can be lonely, I am very much enjoying the solitude and quiet.

Was the beneficiary of a nice tailwind today, which is a real treat.  Back in Illinois, during the peak of the summer, I purchased a cheap umbrella to use on exceptionally hot but becalmed days.  Today I tested it out on my tailwind, using it as a sail.  It did indeed seem to increase my speed, though only ½ mph or so.  Its unwieldy deployment did not make such a modest speed increase worthwhile, so it was shortly relegated to standby once more.

Uncertain of the eligibility of the upcoming banks for camping, I elected to camp once more on a wide sandbar.  I am now regretting my unwillingness to continue my search further downstream as the tailwind has now become my enemy.  This dramatically exposed position is raked by the gusts and the sand it kicks up blasts my skin and face disagreeably.  I will try and reserve my contempt in light of the pleasant day this wind has afforded me.  I was obliged to lash the tent to my kayak to prevent it from caving in on itself, though as I write the windward wall bows in on me substantially.  Perhaps as the night falls I will have a measure of respite from this wind, but until that time I must attempt to deafen myself to the constant flapping.  My stove has ceased to function, and I have yet to resolve a solution, thus I take my supper cold for yet another night.

Day 53:  58 Mi.

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