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Fun fact: Plutonium is named after the dwarf planet Pluto.

IMG_7821 IMG_7808Day 21, Oct. 13

Rachael and I have been naming some of the days to keep thing s straight and give ourselves landmarks in the repeating landscape of rowing; so far we’ve had an apocalypse day, a bear night, a coyote night, a heat rash day….

Today could have multiple names: the 45-mile day, the fishermen-are-jerks day, the Hanford day.

Wait, 45 miles?! “Leah,” you’re probably thinking, “45 miles is a LOT.” If you’re one of the fishermen we encountered today, you might add to that, “Are you sure you know what you’re talking about? Where’s your motor?”

The Hanford Reach is a 51-mile stretch of free-flowing river below the Priest Rapids Dam – which means we had a beast of a current helping us. Plus about 11 hours in the boat, so it had more time than usual to help us, too. But we were somewhat slowed down by the fact that there were fishermen everywhere who were less than considerate about their wakes and steering. Not only that, but most of them didn’t even return our “mutual coolness” waves, which is unforgivable.

The current was fantastic, though, and we satisfied ourselves with the knowledge that all these guys were living by the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world.

There was one single nice guy, however – fishing in waders by an island. He asked us about rowing and we asked him how the fish were biting.

“One bit this morning, but then he got away. You know how it is – some days it’s peanuts, some days it’s shells.”

We knew indeed. All of us were having a bit of a shell day.

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