Last leg of the trip

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hells Gate to Keller Ferry

5 miles cruised today; grand total of 316 miles for the trip

Uncharacteristically for this trip, we’re both up shortly after 6am. I guess we’re eager to return to the ramp and get the boat ready for her drive home, before it gets too hot. However, we do take the time to fix a hearty and tasty french toast breakfast with the last of our sliced french bread and fresh eggs. While preparing to get underway, we notice a doe on the shore and, nearby, a little spotted fawn.

Mule deer fawn

Shortly after 7am I raise the anchor for the final time and steer out into the main lake. Sandy is below, organizing gear for transfer into the truck. I climb up onto the foredeck and begin preparing to take the mast down, leaving it to the auto pilot to steer us down lake at a speed of 6 mph. I glance forward regularly, making sure we’re not on collision course with a large piece of driftwood. Small chunks are unavoidable and, in contrast with yesterday afternoon, we’re the only boat underway at this time of the morning. I uncleat the jib sheets and roller furler line, coil them up, and secure them to the furled jib. Next, I use the mainsail halyard to raise the protective cover over the jib. I reinstall the mast raising pole and, by the time we’re nearing Keller Ferry, I’m reconnecting the baby stays which provide stability to the mast when it gets lowered.

The ramp is free of boats as we idle our way in to the dock and tie up. Sandy starts deflating the dinghy while I walk up to the parking lot, where the truck and trailer are waiting. The familiar process of pulling the boat out, lowering the mast, and derigging the boat goes smoothly. We take time to chat with a couple who are also taking the mast down on their 26X. It’s just their 4th time out on the boat, and everything is new to them. It’s nice to see people getting acquainted with their boat, enthused over their outing and what lies ahead for them.

Shortly after 10am we’re ready to begin the drive home. It’s going to be a hot day, and we’re thankful for air conditioning. We stop at a well shaded park in Waterville for lunch. We stop in at a fruit stand near Lincoln Rock State Park to pick up some fresh cherries, cots, and peaches, and drive the final 25 miles to our home. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our explore of Lake Roosevelt, but are also glad to be home.

Lake Roosevelt sunset, final night of the trip

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