Thursday, May 21, 2015


I bought myself a kayak, you guys!!!  YAY to this!!  I am so so excited.
At the dock- first solo!

Anyone who has read my blog for any period of time knows my love of canoeing.  and here (Though I do find it amazing that people read this, and a few have told me that for various reasons they follow along regularly.  A fact that astonishes me, because I feel like I live a fairly mundane life, with a few thrills thrown in along the way....  however, that is pretty cool, so thanks!)  And I continue to love canoeing- but the problem of canoeing is of course that whole issue of having to have another person handy to canoe with.  You would imagine that I have a whole host of these companions, but that isn't exactly true. Getting people's schedules together, and the weather is a consideration, and what to tote the crazy thing around with.... all can get difficult.  Of course the logical person would be the MA, but that is a whole another layer of difficult there.  He is hyper aware of the weather (I don't trust those clouds) and always has a project going on after work- so that doesn't happen often.

This was an amazing paddle

So to solve this issue I have done two things.  The first is to bite the bullet and acquire an SUV type of vehicle (also hand for dragging the bike around!) and of course buy myself a kayak!  I thought about going to a bigger town to buy, but really wanted to stay local.  So I contacted The Crazy Loon in nearby Phillips, WI  and purchased a demo model from them.  They were terrific!  I chatted with the owner by Facebook messenger to get the whole thing going, and then found out they are open on Sundays and I drove down to check it out.  I was going to go and shop a bit and then buy later in the week, but I am so much more compulsive than that.  The one I bought is a Necky Rip 12, it has a SUPER comfy seat and I appreciate the very bright yellow for visibility!  
Sunday afternoon found me very irritated with the weather as it was scattered showering almost all the way to night.  But I managed to get the truck for a few minutes and with the MA driving got my first paddle in late in the afternoon.  The positive here is that I made him take a few pictures too.  HA!  I just wanted to try it out.  ALL I wanted from my Sunday.  :)
My first stop to take a pic. Love having my phone in the dry bag!

So fast forward to Wednesday (this has got to be the longest work week ever- ugh) and while certainly not warm, I loaded up the truck when he got home and drove myself this time down to Smith Lake.  (I plan to work on figuring out the logistics of hoisting that kayak onto my car this weekend.  I will be keeping a step stool thing in the back of the car, as my lack of tallness is going to be an issue me thinks.)  That whole things works out swimmingly, and I got myself down there and unloaded pretty fast.  It really was a perfect night for it, just a light breeze, the mosquitos weren't biting, and I was very comfortable with a sweatshirt and jeans on.  Now granted this wasn't summer weather, but I don't really care.  Of course the stupid clouds came in about a half hour before I wanted to get on the water, but oh well.  The water was chilly, but not Lake Superior cold, so I was fine with that.  And only one truck/trailer parked, so boat traffic was not a problem.
Found some lovely clouds!

I have taken many photos from land here!
I paddled down the Smith creek flowage, which turns very quiet and still the closer you get to the creek.  I did have to work a bit at getting my flow of paddling.  The first 15 minutes or so was a huge learning curve.  But then I got into the still water and I goofed around a little there, turned around a few times. Drifted and took pictures (shocking, I know) and had a nice time.  When I turned around and headed back all of a sudden everything made sense in my brain and arms.  The paddle back, even against the breeze was so much easier and I didn't have to constantly correct my course with some canoe-like  J and C strokes.  YAY!

I wanted a kayak for many reasons and one of them is photography.  I will eventually take my big camera with me, but I need to feel more comfortable with the handling of the boat.  I am able to sit very low in this kayak and it feels very stable and safe.  And for those of you nervous folks out there, I will ALWAYS wear a life jacket.  Never fear.  I wanted to get out on the water this spring so much to be among the loons and ducks and geese, and now I can.

Almost ready to turn around here!
Though many of you know me to be a very social being, and I am, and I need to have others to keep me company- I crave this sort of solitude.  I don't play my music here, just like on the bike.  I listen to what is going on around me, and have my own thoughts to entertain.  After a hard period of time like I had this winter, I am needing this.  I needed to get something that will soothe me and challenge me and give me goals to strive for.  And I needed a change for my picture taking.  This will allow me to get much more easily to other lakes and rivers and I do have friends with kayaks, so the social aspect is there as well.  I love being on the water, a love that was instilled in me as a little girl when we were visiting my grandma and grandpa in the summers.  Speed boats, canoes, rowboats all seem so right.  Sailboats I still need to be convinced.  There is a good chance I might end up on one this summer on Lake Superior, so we will see if I ever stop clinging to the mast!  HA!!  That will make a good clinging to things photo.  I want to continue challenging those things that scare me.  It is something that makes life worth living.
I slept like a ROCK last night.  While it didn't feel like I did a lot, I can definitely detect fatigue in my arms and shoulders and back.... such a good feeling.  I am much more tired than usual this morning and I wanted to stay in bed.  BIG change as I am usually awake and up and at it by 5 with no problem.  I may paddle again tonight!  We will see what the weather brings I think.
Such a lovely night, but my phone did some odd exposures in the weird lighting
Until next time, give out that joy that you find in your day today!

**I will be editing and adding links later- gotta get ready for work!

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