Day 45

Arriving 10 days early to Mobile, we had planned with the Mobile chapter to paddle down Mobile river to the USS Alabama on the 23rd and continue to Dauphin Island on the 24th but the weather changed everything.

I met a guy from Mobile who gave me his card, and told me to be careful in the bay because it is a dangerous place. The 2015 Mobile tragedy killed 7 people and sunk 9 boats. The man had tears in his eyes telling me that 2 of those guys killed were his friends with family. Had competed for 20 years and now they were gone. How many times do we have to learn the same lesson over and over again? Words of wisdom, compassion, and love from another stranger.

It looks like we are going to pull the plug at this point. The flooding has closed a lot of roads here. The high water in the rivers here from all the rain and high winds are making it too dangerous to continue. Parts of Dauphin Island are being evacuated due to the flooding. The waves are over 6 feet high and one person has been killed. The goal is to return late July or August to finish this project

I’m not disappointed, and I do not feel defeated. I have no doubt that I will complete this later. I would never want a stupid decision on my part to give Team River Runner a black eye. I’m very happy with what was accomplished in just 45 days with the support of family, friends, and Team River Runner as a whole. This is not the end, but only the beginning of national recognition for an organization I passionately believe in.

A special thank you to Doctor Rick Rader, Elaine Adams, and the families and the individuals of the organizations I volunteer with, who were my inspiration to take this project on. I hope we can all continue to be a inspiration to each other in the future as we continue to grow our programs for all people with disabilities in Chattanooga.

I want to thank Amber Hardie who convinced me that she could build this website, and maintain it throughout the journey to the sea.
She has volunteered her time and skills to make this project successful. Thank you, Amber. Love you.

Please check back in the future because there will be more posts to come.

Living the dream

Fred Vail


The high winds make my tarp look like a kite.


The video below shows a little of the weather.

The below video is from inside my tent one day this week.

2 Replies to “Day 45”

  1. Fred,
    You are such an inspiration ! Thank you for sharing your time and talents to help others not only on this awesome adventure but also everyday here in Chattanooga .

  2. Glad to hear you’re safe and I know you’ll get it done later. I’ll be riding in the morning in the waterfront triathlon with Jonathan.

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