It’s been cold, but thanks to drysuits and neoprene and excellent long johns, we’ve been paddling anyway. Late in January, we were invited to join a small group to paddle on the quiet water of Bayou DeView, from Hickson Lake to Apple Lake. It was a gray day and my mood matched the weather, but it was still good to be outside. We ate lunch on Whiskey Island, and Debo ‘adopted’ a too-thin, sad little snake, packing it carefully in a dry box for the trip back to the truck. (Note: A month later, the little snake’s eating goldfish like they’re going out of style. He’s fat and healthy now and he’ll go back home to Whiskey Island sometime in the spring.)
The more we thought about creek paddling, the more Bryan and I thought we should get Crash a helmet with more face protection. She’s never had the least little problem with wearing helmets, and agreed that she’d appreciate headgear that might help her keep all her teeth and jawbones in the same place. We asked around and did a little research, and just when we’d decided on a ShredReady, and Bryan found one on sale. The new helmet arrived on our doorstep right beside a nice big rainstorm that brought the creeks up. But Mandy’s grades weren’t great, and we wouldn’t let her skip school. She was stuck at home, wearing her new helmet in the kitchen, watching videos, while her friends paddled Richland Creek. Continue reading “Winter on the Water”
Our young friend Monkey has been nosing around the edges of our kayaking hobby for a few months. She and her family went with us one warm day last summer on a Remmel-to-Rockport trip. I think they all enjoyed it, but I think Monkey enjoyed it a little extra. Since then she and Mandy have talked about boats several times. She spent a few days with us over the holiday break, and it worked out that I could take her on a group trip to Bayou Deview on the Saturday before school started again. Continue reading “Monkey In a Boat”
We spent the summer learning about whitewater kayaking, but the drought in Arkansas has continued into the autumn and we’ve branched out a bit into doing things in calmer water. In the very first chapter of The Wind In The Willows, Water Rat told Mole “believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING–absolute nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” We’re finding that we really like messing around in boats, too, whether in challenging whitewater or quieter streams.
In September, part of the Caddo River was high enough to float, so we joined a group of friends to do a little section of that waterway. The river was calm and easy, but we were ill-prepared for the trip because we’d assumed that the group would float the short section straight through. While they ate fried chicken and big thick sandwiches for lunch, we played in the water. Next time we’ll understand that they mean to spend the whole day paddling, and we’ll pack a big complicated lunch as well! Continue reading “Still Water”