May 15: The weather looked spotty that morning so we waited out the morning and enjoyed some of Steve's fine cooking. Swagman and I devoured sausage, French toast, mash potatoes, meat loaf, and butter beans before our stomachs cried enough. Steve was also kind enough to let me use his personal computer to do my journals.
The sun finally shining, we said our goodbyes. Little Orleans may be small, but the personality of the town's occupants most certainly is not.
Swagman and I high-tailed it to our stopping point just short of Paw Paw. We covered 14 miles of mostly non-descript ground. The three lockhouses we passed had decayed to little more than foundations. The mix of rain and sun did bring out some animals. I spotted my first beaver of the trip (insert your own joke here). A salamander with a bizarre diamond shaped pattern on its back and several furry caterpillars were among the more interesting finds.
I got a scare from John later in the day when he fell hard while we were entering a camp site to rest for a moment. After a few seconds that seemed an eternity, he said he was okay. My mind calmed quickly, but I had been racing to think what to do if he were hurt - we were eight miles from the nearest town.
Tomorrow will be my last full day on the canal. I've been bedazzled by the history of the region, but most of all the rise and fall of the towns here and their battle to stay alive long after the canal which brought them into being closed and fell into ruins.
14 miles/263 total miles