09 June 2009

The Canoe Trip

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome back. Now for the beginning of the canoe trip...

The canoe trip all-in-all was a great trip, there were a few details that stood out, however. We arrived at the outfitters on time and rented the canoe. We piled into the van, canoe in tow, with a very nice couple that we chatted with. We drove for a while and at some point I hazarded the question, "How long do you think the trip will take with the creek at its current level?"
"About four hours at a leisurely paddle," was the reply.
I figured since we could always paddle a little harder at points, that wouldn't be too bad. It was a little longer than we had planned, but that was okay. I don't recall Bernadette or I choosing an actual drop-off point. I think we went with "upstream" for maximum clarity.
The beginning of the trip was idyllic. We saw mother wood ducks on the water with their ducklings trailing dutifully behind. When we got close they would hurry their little tails as fast as they could away from us.

The Boy caught some frogs with a net and let them go after showing them excitedly to us when we landed. It was peaceful and both the weather and the scenery were fantastic.


I checked my watch and an hour had passed. We snacked a little and paddled on. After another half hour had passed, we passed a familiar bar that was visible from the creek. What was odd was that the bar, by road, wasn't terribly far from where we had been dropped off.
It was about then The Boy asked, "Are we at our destiny yet?"
Since we were nowhere near our destiny nor near our destination, Bernadette and I looked at each other and shrugged it off. I will admit that I did start to paddle a little bit harder at that point.
We found another place to stop for a while. No frogs this time, but we did find something else... mosquitos. Biblical plague types of numbers were involved here people. They loved our canoe. Its arrival must have been foretold in some ancient mosquito prophecy because pretty much all of them came to worship it in a highly mobile cloud. They seemed to be all males since we didn't get bitten at all. Had they actually bitten us, I don't think we would have made it back.
We shoved off and spent the next half hour alternating between paddling and swatting mosquitos until the bottom of the canoe was lined with their tiny, spindly corpses. It did serve to keep The Boy occupied. I know this because as soon as they were gone, we faced the return of "Are we at our destiny yet?"
We took it with aplomb though. Bern did make the observation that when you're in a canoe, with no real place to land — the banks were higher and steeper at this point of the trip — you're basically trapped. It's sort of like the movie Alien without the bother of someone's chest bursting open to release a peppy carnivore. Then again, the crew of the Nostromo didn't have to paddle the ship through space with a six-year old, so we'll call that a wash.
Time passed, we paddled. Not quite enough to qualify as feverishly, so we'll just go with avidly. Regardless of our efforts though, I noted that I could have outwalked our pace by at least a factor of two as I watched the shore slide by.
Luckily we had that aplomb going for us.
We passed the bear which was close to the point where our cabin was located. The watch read four hours into the trip at that point.
The trip by car from the cabin to our landing point takes roughly three minutes. By canoe, the trip takes about an hour. I now suspect there are small spots of curved space along that part of the creek that dilate time. I may go back and look for them later, without a six year old along, but I was too busy avidly paddling to care then.
We landed — finally — and I walked to the outfitters while Bern and The Boy stopped at the local country store for snacks. The outfitters is a 30 second drive mind you, but a 15 minute walk. With oars. And life vests.
Like I said, it was a great trip, but I did manage to take notice of two drop-off points that would have made for a shorter, much less "Are we at our destiny yet?" laden trip for the next time. I'll also evidently need to help the people at the outfitters redefine "leisurely paddle."

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33 comments:

Marinka said...

I wish I knew when we reached our destiny.

so glad that you're back!

Kat said...

Kinda like defining what "is" is ;) Glad you're back Mr.

Sprite's Keeper said...

My arms are sore just reading this.

Stephanie said...

One time I thought it would be fun to float down the river in an inner tube (inter tube?) while I was pregnant. And the river was low. So I kept getting beached. I ended up, in a flurry of swearing and throwing river rocks at people who were laughing at me, heaving myself out of the water and marching the two miles back to the car in a dripping, fat, muttering huff. That was the last time I ever found myself floating on a damn river.

But I'm glad you had fun.

natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

A second post?!? You're really, really back! **does happy dance**

Okay, I'm gonna actually read it now...

WeaselMomma said...

Were the outfitters 20 somethings? Their idea of leisurely paddle is different from that of us old folks.

Cameron said...

Here in Illinois (pronounced il-i-noise if you're from out-of-state) we have a lovely river called the...wait for it....Illinois River. And it's infested with Asian Carp...that jump at you...when you're in a canoe...and scare the shit out of you...and cause you to nearly tip the canoe.

Mrs. D said...

Sounds like fun, I think, and I am not even outdoorsy.

Miss Grace said...

Glad to hear you had a good trip!

Diane said...

I didn't know boy mosquitoes don't bite.

Nej said...

I feel for you. We've often set off on kayak trips....thinking a whole day on the water will be fun. We'll stop for snacks, we'll sit on the banks. We'll take pictures. We'll mosey along. After 5 or so hours, you start paddling harder, taking fewer breaks, talking less. By the time you get to the end, you realize you weren't even watching the landscape for the last 2 hours. The whole time you keep thinking..."Well, the end is right around this next bend. OK...then it's around the next bend, right?" :-)

Cat said...

Well. How-d. I love to canoe, except for that one time on the Elk River in MO (or was it the Buffalo River in AR?)((and do we care?)) when I happened to look down into the water and see two copperheads chasing a turtle through the water. I was not high. I swear to god it's true. And I hyperventillated because I was certain that I would fling one of the snakes into the canoe with my paddle, leaving no escape because the other snake remained in the water, and oh dear lord, I nearly tipped the canoe from trying so hard not to.

But aside from that, I love canoeing.

Vodka Mom said...

I am so excited you are BACK that I didn't even read your DAMN POST!!!!!!

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!

I thought perhaps you had been kidnapped and replaced with a body snatcher person who didn't know how to BLOG.

Thank God I was wrong. Whew. We missed ya.

Vodka Mom said...

and Why is there a TROJAN ad staring in my face???


huh???

Did you not read my hysterectomy post?

Ann's Rants said...

Welcome back, Heinous! Can I just call you Heinous? I never got that alpha-numeric version down.

Are you sure that bear wasn't actually John Candy?

PhoenixAwakened said...

That frog was huge!! And so icky! lol

Its so nice to see you back, and just in time for summer :)

Captain Dumbass said...

Should have let Boy keep some of those frogs in the canoe.

Tony said...

thanks - welcome back. It' s good to see you back. Missed ya man.

The Stiletto Mom said...

"Are we at our destiny yet"....how cute is that. I was just told a few minutes ago that my son was involved in a "melee" of pool dunking today. Where do they get this stuff? OH...us...thats where!

steenky bee said...

YOU'RE BACK?!?!?! So very excited! Must go back and read.

Hit 40 said...

You reminded me of my awful church group canoe rides as a kid...

we always got dunked in the yucky stagnant water. And, one time a big black snake the size of a tire slithered past me. YUCK!!!

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Sam said...

Reading this makes me glad I can't swim. I don't go anywhere near water unless there's a lifequard on duty.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

That sounded fun until you got to the mosquitoes part... I loathe mosquito's!!!

Khadra said...

Welcome back!

I do not do canoeing, kayaking, water anything unless it is in a pool...and I dont think you can comfortably canoe in a pool.

Krystal said...

Welcome back!!! And you are a much braver soul than me. It seems everyone is seeking their adventurous side - SM with her tornados,SK with letting Sprite enter the water, and now you my big bro with doing the whole canoing thing. I need to get a life outside of this house!!! LOL Glad to have you back.

Mocha Dad said...

One day, I will do this with my son. One day.

Jenni Jiggety said...

I am glad you finally reached your destiny...

Sashindoubutsu said...

Enjoyed reading this post! :)

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Glad to see you posting again. And a canoe trip sounds absolutely heavenly (even with mosquitoes and bad time predictions!)

King of New York Hacks said...

Any canoe trip without banjo players is reaching destiny....well done !! lol

anita tedaldi said...

Haven't been by in a while and glad I came back - didn't know you took a little break but enjoyed reading your posts again
Cheers,
Anita

AmyMusings said...

Just subscribed. The photography in the canoe lured me. Reminds me of a two-week canoe trip I took in the Adirondacks.