July 8
Mississippi Trek

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We carried the boat a block and a half from the river to their house.  I was able to check
my email and get cleaned up before Dana showed me around town.  The people
down here have an unbelievable struggle ahead of them.  Much of the town is
completely destroyed.  I found it to be both amazing and depressing in its scale.

Tonight I will sleep in a bed for the first time since Minnesota. Civilization is going to
take some getting used to.  In just over a week I'll be home.
7.08.06
I made it.  I'm in New Orleans.  Last night's campsite was only a few miles from my final
destination so I slept in a bit this morning.  I couldn't help but feel sad when I set out for
the last time this morning.  For almost two months the river has been my constant
companion.

When I started, the water was barely deep enough to float my kayak.  Now it supports
ocean liners.

I too have grown on this journey.  I have had nearly two months to wrestle with my
demons and have come a long way towards accepting who I am.  I am damaged, but I
can heal.  I will always bear the scars of my past, but the evil is now gone from my life.  I
am now surrounded by wonderful people who love me.  I only wish I would have let
them love me sooner.
Mississippi River Quest - Page 17
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I neared the bend where I was to meet Dana and Jason, my contacts in New Orleans,
and called them on my cell phone.  Soon after the call I realized I had overshot my final
destination by several miles and had to paddle back upstream to meet them.  They and
their two children were standing on the bank with a sign that said
Welcome to New
Orleans
.  What a wonderful way to end the trip!
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