Monday, August 29, 2016

Yesterday I went kayaking with friend, Garnet.  We dropped off my truck and took the kayaks to our put in station. We put in on the Sugar River around 7:30 in the am.  I was a little ambivalent about attacking the river for the first time in a kayak but Garnet reassured me (imagine that) that it would be a blast and I wouldn’t even want to kayak the lake any longer.

We set off and I oared around a bit until I realized the river’s current was going to carry me along.  I straightened out and ambled leisurely down the river.  It was so pretty.  The sun was not too bright and I even took off my sunglasses for a while.  Garnet and I took pictures of each other on our phones.  We are just so technologically up to date.  (She had learned that morning how to take photos and I am going to take a class in September to learn how to use mine more effectively.)

The trip was uneventful except for one sharp turn to the left and back to the right.  There was a tree hanging over the turn and you had to dodge it.  Garnet rowed herself right to the shore.  I just ducked.

Garnet said she didn’t want the trip to end so I told her that we should go have breakfast and come back and do it again.  We agreed that was what we would do.

We got to the place where we had parked my truck to ride back to her truck and I was first in line to get out.  The dock was not very big and Garnet suggested hitting it hard and fast.  I did such and got the nose of the kayak onto the pavement.  The worst part of kayaking is getting out of the darn thing after you have been in it for a while.

There was a guy fishing on the bank next to us and I thought how nice it would be of him to come give me a tow.  I stood up and got my right foot on the bank.  My left foot was in the kayak and suddenly the kayak moved and went back into the current of the river.  I was doing the splits and willing my body to work and get back to the dock.  I was yelling a very bad word over and over.  My body would not cooperate with my brain.  I fell to the right and into the river.  I was out of the kayak though and was quick enough to grab the tow bar before it got away from me.

What was Garnet doing all this time?  She told me she was watching my legs and that my muscles had popped out and she was in awe of my leg muscles.  I told her they were useless as they didn’t do the job I had asked them to do.

Garnet pulled up and I hopped down to tow her in further.  She had a tough time standing up to get out.  She has bad legs because she had polio as a child.  She finally got her legs in gear and made it to shore.  We pulled her kayak out next to mine.

Assessing myself, I realized that I had skinned my knee and I was pretty wet all over.  I was physically shaking but otherwise I was fine.  I got my beach towel that I had brought to sit on and dried myself off.  I was walking to my truck when it struck me that I had left the keys on the floor of Garnet’s truck so I wouldn’t lose them in the river if I tipped over.

Holy Mother of the Buddha!  I told Garnet my news and asked who we should call.  My first thought was our friends who live about five minutes from where we were located.  The Good Samaritan fisherman asked if we needed a ride.  Bless his heart and soul.  He took us to Garnet’s truck and we were so thankful and relieved.  We each confessed that we both had thought he was going to kidnap us and mutilate our poor old bodies.

We got back to the kayaks and thankfully they hadn’t been stolen.  The Good Samaritan was back fishing, bless his heart.

We were bungeeing up the kayaks and the second one was a toughie.  I stretched the bungee further to help Garnet along.  She let go of the thing and it bit me big time and major league on my bad finger.  My right pointer finger has arthritis from Hades and is probably my worst pain in my body except for my neck.  I had a deep cut from the corner of the fingernail to my first knuckle.

All I could think of was that it hurt so badly that it was numb.  Or maybe I was numb.  I remembered that Garnet had brought a frozen bottle of water and went to the river to retrieve it.  I washed my finger off in the river not thinking about all the germs, fish urination, and god knows what else in there.  The water had melted but it was fresh so I drank a big gulp before washing my finger with the water.

I know Garnet was a girl scout in a previous life because she has a first aid kit that she keeps in her kayak.  I had a clean cloth and a band aid, bless her heart.

We got in our trucks and off we went to eat breakfast at the Rowe’s A Frame in Durand.  I turned my air conditioner on high and held my finger to the register the whole time I traveled.

I was wet but I put my shorts on anyhow and looked presentable.  We had a lovely breakfast.  I had biscuits and gravy, of course, and Garnet had a breakfast burrito with chorizo sausage.  I am definitely trying that the next time I eat there.  Garnet joked when we got there and asked if I was ready to do the kayak trip again.  I told her I had enough of this bad luck streak I was rolling in and I was going home and going to bed, which I did.

I have to say that my one foot on shore and one foot in the kayak was the first time I have ever felt my age.  And it was not a good feeling.  I just hope I have gotten the bad luck streak broken and it is out of my system.  Perhaps I will burn some sage today.

Peace be with you.

Photo is of Anderson Gardens in Rockford and I am going on a tour there today.  Wouldn't it be great if Garnet and I snuck in and kayaked on their pond?  And yes, I tried to retrieve the photos on my phone and couldn't do it.  Can't wait until my i phone class.

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