Archive for August 19th, 2011

August 19, 2011

Adventuring: Into the Storm

So. Kayaking. Sounds like fun, yah? Especially when you’ll be launching from here:

Pretty picturesque, hmm?

Suzann told us Fishing Creek (pictured above) was a little dry … and that we’d have to lift the kayaks over logs in the creek. Um … ok? She said the kayaks were super light, so not to worry.  So we didn’t.

Well, the morning dawned bright and clear, but by the time we were going to head out, it was dripping. We get to the mill and see that they have bright red single rider kayaks, with mostly open tops. Perfect. But now it’s raining harder. Uh oh.

The three boys jump out to unload, and discuss if they can convince their respective girls to brave the rain. I have to confess, guys … I ALMOST wimped out. The rain, plus the idea of being in a single-seater that I would have to lug over logs did not sound like my idea of fun. But both of the other girls were game, so I said sure.


Within 10 minutes of being on the water, the rain stopped … we floated along, laughing as one or the other of us got stuck every few minutes in the lower-than-normal water level, and basically just having a good time. The rain kicked back up now and then, but lightly, so all was well.

An hour and a half into it we hit the 2nd place where we’d need to get out and haul our kayaks over the logs. The first trip had resulted in screaming and running from the gigantic spiders that had made the unusually dry spot their home, and a snake that no one could identify as non-poisonious. Faced with the idea of finding a few other “friends” … and based on the fact that I could see a third blockage less than 50 yards away … I decided to turn back. *

Half way back, with the husband tagging along to “make sure (I) got back safe” **, it began to rain again. And then picked up. And THEN picked up some more. Half a mile from the cars the storm hit us full force … complete with rain so hard you could barely see, thunder, lightning, and wind strong enough that no matter how hard you paddled, you were NOT going to move.

Paddle paddle paddle paddle …. nothing.

Finally I said “Eff THIS!” and jumped out. *** The water was only four feet deep there, but dang it, I used to do SWIM MEETS in pools 3.5 feet deep (we did NOT like swimming against that team when they hosted. Talk about home court advantage!). So I grabbed the handle of the kayak and swam that last bit. Against the wind. Hellooooooo workout!

A couple of the mill workers took pity on me as I was trying to figure out how to get in the car and dried off without soaking the interior, and let me take shelter in the mill. The husband headed back out to help anyone else who was stuck. Meanwhile, the storm just kept getting worse.

Half an hour later everyone shows up. Apparently the storm had knocked over a few MORE trees, and they had a hard time getting back. We packed up and headed back to the b&b … jumping into warm showers as soon as possible. Naturally.

No one could have predicted the dangers of what was supposed to be a lazy 3-hour paddle. Heck, we hadn’t even signed the waivers! But in the end we were all unharmed … if a bit exhausted.

And I want to do it again. ::grins::


* Apparently, I turned back right at the boat landing where the creek joins with another, faster moving, creek-river hybrid (too small to consider a river, but bigger than most creeks). That was almost 2 miles out. Beyond that point, you would normally hit rapids … it turns out the blockages I’d seen that turned me around were those rapids, exposed due to the low water level. The group that had continued was getting out of their kayaks every couple of minutes. I CHOSE WELL.

** Because I’m going to take a wrong turn on the creek?

*** Note to self … buy a pair of water shoes for next time. I don’t even want to THINK about what I was stepping in. ::shivers::