Some days, I’m just not productive. My brain isn’t working, I’m distracted, or things just… somehow don’t ever work out right. Monday was one of those days.
But you know what? That’s the whole advantage of being a salaried employee with flex-time – if I can’t seem to get anything done one day… I can always just stay late on a day that I can get things done. And on the day that I can’t get things done, I can go home a bit early.
Today, I chose that option.
Granted, it was only an hour early. But when the sun sets right when I normally leave work, that hour makes all the difference. I escaped, drove home, and immediately tossed my little inflatable dinghy into my pack before stepping out the door.
It was glorious.
Beautiful views, excellent river-sounds, and basically nobody around since it was barely above freezing. I stayed close to the shore, because of the mentioned temperatures, but ended up tying up to a nearby dock and just… floating.
The river rushed by, swollen by the recent rain, and I just stared at the sky, caught up on messages from friends, and read my book until I couldn’t quite feel my hands.
A Thanksgiving adventure – Kayaking the Willamette River
Thanksgiving is going to be different this year. This is my first year being single in half a decade, and thanks to the COVID Pandemic it’s also the first year that I can’t travel, and don’t have any friends still in town. I’m flying solo, have a ton of vacation to burn, and am feeling energetic...
Many years back, my friend Mike bought an inflatable Kayak.
A few weekends afterward, we christened it The Bogmaster 3000, after we spent a day on the Androscoggin river, up in Maine, paddling around an exploring the various estuaries and (unsurprisingly) bogs all along the shoreline. Since then, Mike and I took it out more places than I can count… and he took it out on his own for enough adventures that I still have a sense of lingering jealousy.
So I bought my own.
I mean, I hadn’t really planned on it, in my defense. But this summer I finally got to go backpacking regularly again, and saw so many beautiful alpine lakes… the thought of just floating around in the middle of them was too much to bear. Since then, I’ve kept an eye out for a small, lightweight, packable kayak that I could bring with me on backpacking trips.
Well, I finally found one.
The Klymit lifewater dinghy.
Doesn’t… doesn’t sound that badass, does it? Yeah. Not the coolest name out there, I’ll freely admit.
But you know what? It weighs in at 3 lbs. 4lbs, with the paddle. It packs down to the size of two nalgene bottles. It’s easy to inflate, and the paddle collapses down nice and small.
What more is there to want?
I posit: Nothing.
I actually got it in the mail a week or two back, but I simply hadn’t had the time, energy, or interest in taking it out onto the river yet. Thanksgiving, though, instilled in me a beautiful sense of serenity and relaxation – exactly the mindset that called for floating around on a crisp sunny day.
I could see my breath in the air, and the folks hanging out on the boat launch definitely gave me a few side-eyed looks as I inflated it, and cast off into the light mist. I had a tee-shirt on, but everything I was wearing was warm and synthetic – easily enough to keep me warm if my maiden voyage went the way of the Titanic, and something went wrong.
Nothing went wrong, thankfully – though it was cold, there were no icebergs to be seen, nor any sharp or pokey objects that could puncture my noticably unarmored hull. One downside to a lightweight inflatable Kayak / raft is that the skin has to be super-thin in order to save weight… which meant I was definitely a little bit paranoid about my first jaunt into the water.
This is super out of order – it’s part of my series called “cleaning up my drafts folder”
30-May – 01-Jun
I’ve been kayaking a lot.
I mean… you don’t even understand how much time I’ve spent in a small plastic boat, on the charles river, over the last few weekends.
It’s a bit ridiculous… but also quite enjoyable. It’s like biking… a bit. Instead of legs, there’s arms.
Instead of breakneck speed, there’s a slow cruise. Instead of the breeze of motion, there’s the wind off the water.
And my favorite – Where a cyclist has to keep intense situational awareness going at all times, a kayaker can simply take a break and ignore everything.
The origin of this is that, a month or three ago, I bought myself a membership to the kayak rental group that lives along the charles river – they’ve got a few locations, so I have enough options on where to go paddling that I haven’t really gotten bored yet. And they have Sea Kayaks too, which definitely make everything a bit easier. They’re more prone to rocking and tipping, but the rudder is amazing and 100% worth the extra effort to stay afloat.