Monday, May 25, 2009

First River Kayak

Ok, so I'm a little behind. I don't want to let this memory get away with out its significance. On the 17th I went on my first river kayak. I had not realized the significance of this until I was on the water. While I have been on the kayak several times in lakes I just did not realize the difference. A river would be. It all started the day before when hubby mentioned a group wanted to go through Stinchcomb on Sunday. I have been wanting to do that for some time but with kids, school, and life in general it just never worked out. This time though I knew I would be ready after the previous two days of dance rehearsals and recital. We made arrangements for the kids to stay with someone and off we went. (Currently we only have two kayaks so taking kids really isn't much of an option yet.) We met up with the group at the Route 66 bridge at Lake Overholser. Left a couple of cars there and then went to the drop in point. Now remember I have never done this before. The closest has been maybe canoeing on the Illinois River in NE Oklahoma with one of those "professional" places. Most recently about 10 years ago. To just drop at any place in a river was quite different. There wasn't a nice sandy beach with a gradual drop off. OMG when they showed me just where this "drop" in place was I just about turned around and went back home. We put in where Garth Brooks Blvd. crosses the North Canadian river in Yukon. Where's the sandy beach? Where's the gentle slope? Where's my freakin brain? I looked down to what might as well have been the ledge of the Grand Freakin Canyon! Let me get this. I am not only going to climb down this boulder wall to my death but I am going to carry a kayak while I do it! Never mind the paddle, life jacket, sun screen, and beverage. I will give hubby some credit here. He stepped up and did all the carrying. In reality it probably was only 20 or 30 feet down. Although it was still jagged boulders the size of watermelons. He managed to get both of the kayaks to the bottom in the amount of time that it took me to just climb down by my self. Now mind you by this time the entire group knew this was my first time in a river. Do you think they would have warned me about the current. Heck no! Hubby nicely holds the kayak in place while I climb in. Now if you haven't been in a kayak you should probably know there is absolutely no way on God's green earth a graceful way of getting in or out of one. Lucky for me I remembered to hold on to the paddle. What I hadn't realized is that I was the first one in my boat. At first my thought no big deal, then followed by "Thank God I didn't dump over getting into the boat. Geesh I wouldn't want to look like a dork in front of this group that I would like to be friends with." Now comes the fun part. Once I finally and I do mean finally figure/remember how to maneuver this thing I look back and there isn't ANYONE! Then I proceed to yell at the top of my lungs. "How did the most green person end up in the front of the pack!" From around the bend I heard chuckling. "You were the first one in!" You would think that someone one anyone would get the hint and get their sorry @#% up to my rescue. Finally after what seemed like an eternity hubby caught up. He kept pointing out these "places" I might be able to bank the kayak and wait. He never did get it. "Don't you see I am on this class 4 rapid and I don't know what the h-e-double hockey sticks I am doing!" After about another 20-30 minutes the rest of the group managed to catch up and I was starting to calm down. Really this was only a class 1 river and I have discovered I am a big CHICKEN! During this same trip several in the group were trying to convince us to go with them this weekend on a river that has a few 3 foot drop offs. DO YOU THINK I AM FREAKING INSANE! Give me a few fallen trees in the river and that is enough. Maybe once I have a bit (A LOT) more experience we will give it a try. As the picture above shows I eventually did relax and enjoy myself. We did 7 1/2 miles. I was a little worried that I would lose the use of my arms for the next week. To my surprise it wasn't bad the next day. On a scale of 1 -10 I would guess a 2. I even managed to finish the trip on a good note. I pulled directly into the unloading point perfectly. Then got out of the boat without falling back into the river. See I wasn't too much of a dork! I stayed dry.

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