I will start by saying that I love kayaking. I love it on open water lakes, on the ocean, on rivers. For me its a deeply rewarding activity in the athletics involved and the calming nature of being out on the water.
Now the number one problem I have with going kayaking is a I live in a really landlocked city with very little water around. Because of this kayaking requires a lot of pre-planning as you have to load all the gear onto the car and then drive to the water location (if you are going down river you need to cars) And then it takes a while to get started and to finish as you have to take the boats off the car and get all setup. Really none of it is hard it just takes a lot of time so the activity takes planning and usually will consume most of a day.
This year I had finally got my shit together and called our city reservoir to book a spot to store the kayak at the water that we have in the city here. That way I could just drive over anytime with my paddle and lifejacket and go for a paddle without too much time invested and in theory that would help me go more often, BUT they are doing major repairs on the reservoir this year and they were not offering rentals, so my plan was defunct.
All that to say is that this week, late in August, was the first time I was out kayaking this summer. I have had a pretty busy summer of guiding classes, vancouver island trips, swimming, biking and hiking and I just have not gotten around to going for a nice paddle. But last week my dad and I got it together and drove a little out of town to Ghost Lake reservoir and ended up having a nice 4.5 km paddle. I could really feel that a summer of swimming and doing push up challenges have helped my paddle muscles as I felt much stronger than when we last went out last October.
The awesome thing about getting in your boat is that you cease to have to follow a path and you can get into little hidden beaches and up to interesting shore lines that would be very difficult to get to any other way. Also its awesome the way you just glide accross the water, and that you dont use your legs (*well not primarily, there are some paddling activities that you use your legs, and you are always kind of using them to balance) so its a very different activity than most for movement.
We met a few characters on this trip. The first was a woman with a blow up kayak taking 2 mid sized dogs out with her. She laughed that it was her first time taking both dogs and we may have to rescue her. She also told us she goes paddling there a couple times a week and recommended where we should paddle. Next when we got to our turn around point there was a small beach and woman sitting there eating lunch. She was so incredibly fit she was just fascinating to look at, with my journey to really build muscle and get stronger for sport I have appreciation for the work I know she put it in to look like that. She chatted for a minute then jumped on her stand up paddle board and paddled off (if you have not tried that sport yet you should know that it requires great balance to look cool and casual while on those boards) Then on our way back we had an old man call us over to the shore, he had a rickety boat and a very long grey beard and he wanted to show us a fossil he found in the lake. He had a brief conversation about fossils in the area and was a funny guy. As we left him he shouted to us "do an old man a favor and go enjoy your life"
Overall it was such a great day, and instead of feeling sad I didnt kayak more often I just have to remember that there is only so much time and its hard to fit all activities in. I should be proud of what I have accomplished this summer and the best thing about kayaking is that I can do it until the snow sets in, so could possibly be going well into October.
Thats the plan as the weather and my work schedule makes it harder to do all the other fun summer activities, we will paddle into the crisp fall.
Until next time my little boat.
there are facts and then there are emotions. This is as honest as I can be about my struggles and triumphs.