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mejaka in Hayden is doing 36 things including…

take my kayak out for a day trip

45 cheers


mejaka has written 13 entries about this goal


At least, done for the first time. For our anniversary my husband suggested kayaking. We spent the entire day kayaking this beautiful channel between two lakes, and had lunch, and a wonderful time!


I went out by myself on Lake C d’A and paddled from just west of NIC beach all the way to Boothes Park. Four hours, with a stop for lunch.

Tonight we went to Fernan with the club – there were 20 paddlers, the biggest group ever. Brett came along in the old rec boat we picked up at a garage sale this spring. I don’t think he wants to ever do it again – the boat’s flat, short, has no tracking…But it was fun to have him along (as well as a guy I met through who is in town and welcomed the chance to paddle with some locals).

Now I want to arrange to go on a day paddle with one or two others, take our lunches, spend the whole day paddling and relaxing.


What a really glorious day I had yesterday!

The river was absolutely gorgeous, the weather perfect—sunny and warm but not hot. The scenery was awesome and we exchanged waves with a few cyclists riding the trail along the river. Spectacular views all along the way, quiet water, good company.

At our planned lunch put-out, someone had very recently erected No Trespassing signs. So we quietly trespassed in a farmer’s pasture a bit further on (unposted). The one imperfect bit in the entire day was that, halfway through lunch, someone noticed a few hundred feet from us that a coyote was caught in a trap. Different sensibilities came out over this, from “We have no right to interfere with a trap when we’re trespassing,” to “Oh, the poor thing, man is so awful,” to “It’s his right, he’s got a farm to protect.” None of this was heated, most wasn’t even stated—but we all knew that we were from mixed backgrounds. And there was a huge worry in that the trip coordinator’s wife decided she was going to let the creature out of the trap. Fortunately she didn’t, stopped by voices of reason combined with the fact that the animal’s rear leg was a bigger mess than she first thought. And maybe she realized, as she approached to within 20 feet or so, that there was no way she would succeed, that the coyote wasn’t going to look at her with pleading eyes and somehow understand that she was there to help and lick her hand, and that we were miles from our vehicles and more miles from the hospital where she would undoubtedly need to have many stitches, a tetanus shot, and a rabies shot.

She and her husband did leave the put-out with plans to visit and see if they could at least get the property owner to put the thing down rather than leaving it to suffer.

That was just a little drama in an otherwise beautiful trip. And in the evening, the opera—my sister singing Violetta in La Traviata. Wonderful. Brava!

A very good day.

Club trip!

We had a change of plans for the weekend, and suddenly I was available to go on the short day trip the club has scheduled – except they wanted registrations by the 6th! The trip coordinator is a Luddite – no email! – but I did get an email off to the sec’y, and the coordinator called not long after. He’s such a good guy – and he said, No problem, you’re in!

So Saturday I will be paddling down the river from Cataldo to Rose Lake – a lovely 3.5-hour paddle requiring that I actually use one of my hatches to stow lunch and dry clothes in case of a swim. Which, incidentally, I have no intention of taking.


Friday was beautiful. I got the big ones off to school and went out for a run before the little ones needed to leave. As I ran around the wooded path through the park, it slowly sank in that it was going to be a gorgeous sunny still day.

I checked my watch. I had time to go back, nudge the little ones off to school on their bikes, load the boat, and go. Really—I could be on the lake by 9 am and have over two hours to paddle before I needed to load up and go pick up Anna and her bike.

So…I did. I got two hours in, and it was glorious.

Ack ack ACK!!!

I went out today and outfitted myself for Thursday’s paddle—base layer, mid layer, squall suit. And then. And THEN! I found out Nate’s Raingutter Regatta is THE SAME NIGHT!


Parenting is worth it…parenting is worth it…parenting is worth it…

Man, now it’ll be May before I get out there. However, tonight we did take out the little sailboat we bought for $50 from a friend last fall. That thing is FUN! We have no idea how to sail and it wasn’t really rigged right I don’t think, but before it was over we had all managed to sail it around the swimming area a bit (well, not Anna of course, she’s six). Next time Brett and I have an open date night, we’re going sailing.

Today's gear review

was awesome! Lots of pretty boats, lots of newbies paddling ‘em around. Favorite moments:

This couple stopped at the club booth to ask a few questions about kayaking. Were they tippier than canoes? Tandems more than singles? I explained chine and rock and primary and secondary stability as simply as possible, as well as the importance of a low center of gravity and the myth of the “stuck upside down under water” image most newbies seem to have. The husband was practically bouncing on his toes; the wife was standing with her chin set and her arms crossed. I thought at first, “Uh oh, financial resistance,” but by her questions I decided it was more that she just was afraid of them. Well, it’s not so often you can sit in ten different kayaks in a couple of hours, and I told them to take advantage, try some, it’s awesome! The husband got more and more excited and finally just skipped across the sand in front of his wife, saying in a tone of enthused cajoling, “I want to try some!”

I tellya, he went by in a different boat about every twenty minutes, but always with the same big old grin on his face. And she? She stood back behind the line of boats, alternating between folded arms or wringing hands. I felt bad because this woman was in good shape, strong-looking, slim, and with enough sun still in her skin for me to think she was the active type anyway and it was silly for her to be afraid of kayaks if she’d paddled a canoe. I went over a talked to her for a few minutes…and as soon as I left another member of the club did the same! It was funny. No idea if the guy will get a boat or not.

Then there was the woman I met on Honeysuckle Beach Thursday. She was older and there with another friend. The friend had minimal kayaking experience and loved it; this woman was trying to decide if she’d like it. I talked to them for a while, just friendly chat and answering a few questions.

Well, today she walked up to the club booth and said, “Hey, didn’t I see you on the beach the other day? I just bought a kayak, can I sign up?” She had a big smile on her face.

It was all so fun…only disappointment was I didn’t get out on the water, but then, that was because I went hiking with my husband and kids instead. Which was its own kind of wonderful.

NEXT WEEK--a two hour paddle!

Okay, tonight the club was paddling the little lake, and I can walk to the Honeysuckle launch from my house. So I took the dogs and headed down to see what the other club members were wearing. I mean, everyone recommends a drysuit, everyone says a wetsuit is a distant second, but nobody says, “This is what I wear; this is what you can get away with.”

So guess what? Not a drysuit or even a wetsuit in the bunch. Polypro, sure, and those thin wetsuit-like material. But no actual wetsuits. One guy even wore cotton pants.

I’m thinking UnderArmor, fleece, and a squall suit will do while it remains cool. Next Thursday when they do the Blackwell Island paddle, I WILL BE THERE!


Inclement weather. Rats.

Not sure it would matter. Saturday we had one of those incidents where someone drove down the boat ramp. News reports say the water was 49 degrees. I can’t swamp in 49 degree water unless I’m wearing expensive, scientifically developed clothing. Brr.

So, before I can go I have to figure this out. There’s a cheap wetsuit, $38, 3/4 sleeve and shorty legs. But ICK, paddling in a wetsuit! Dry suits are better in so many ways, but I can’t even get my top covered for less than $100.

Blast. I’m not going to be able to kayak until June.

One week...

until the first Thurs night paddle! Only problem—no wetsuit, no drysuit, can’t go unless it’s warm.

Hm…wonder what wunderground says? Off to check…

mejaka has gotten 45 cheers on this goal.


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