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Archive for August, 2009

How Green the Water Looks From the Cockpit of a Kayak

August 24th, 2009 at 05:19 pm

I was really waffling on how to spend my last day at home. The weather, as I've mentioned, has not been cooperative, but today is a decent day and not as humid as it's been.

I was torn between kayaking, bike riding or tackling my "to do" list.

After reading MonkeyMama's post, i decided to do the kayaking. I've only been out once this summer, and I'd been wanting to go on a quiet weekday when I knew I'd have the lake to myself.

I was out for 2.5 hours and got another good upper body workout in. Only three boats passed me; otherwise, complete solitude. The sound of my paddle dipping into the water becomes rhythmic and so relaxing. Still, I could feel my stomach muscles tightening as I put some "oomph" into my paddling.

Saw 5 great blue herons. (It's possible some were the same bird.)

Emerald green waters

Rocky shoreline

A Good Place to Be in a Heat Wave

August 15th, 2009 at 03:06 pm

Day #1 of heat wave....I decide to take the kayak out, alone, for the first time in about 2 years.

Although it's not my favorite spot, I went to the closest put-in spot in my town. I headed for the town boat ramp on Lake Lillinoah, about a mile or so past the state boat ramp on the same road, same body of water. They call it a lake, but it's really just a very wide river.

When I arrived at 7:50 a.m., the gate was closed, causing me to do a u-turn back to the state boat ramp a mile down the road.
There were about a half dozen vehicles and empty trailers already in the parking lot.

I unloaded the boat and pushed out into a channel that opens into the lake after about a half mile.

Today's the first day of at least a week-long heatwave with temps in the 90s, so I wanted to get an early start, and in fact, the fog was still overhanging the water, so much so that I worried a powerboat bearing down on me might not see me.

I hugged the shore and entertained myself by looking at all the houses.

Some are quite grand.

And some homes can't even be seen from the lake.

I startled a great blue heron on the dock (at right) who silently took wing when I came too close.

The first hour of my journey was calm and quiet, but 9 a.m. seemed to be the magic hour when a jet ski as annoying as a high-pitched, buzzing mosquito buzzed around. Mostly, there were just people fishing from their boats.

I went as far as the bridge, then turned around. I didn't want to overdo my first kayaking trip in a while, even though it's wonderful upper body exercise for me.

I made it back in half the time, due to the current.

There were more people unloading boats in the water, and an older man with his own kayak offered to help me get my boat on my car. Since I'd been paddling for a few hours, I was tired, so I said yes.

I enjoyed it so much that I hope to go again next Friday (a day off) when I think it might be quieter on the water. And I want to leave from the town boat ramp, about a half mile further north, so that I can paddle beyond the bridge. I'll have to call Parks & Rec to see when they open that gate up on a weekday.

And maybe I'll pack a simple lunch of some sort.