Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kayaking Anyone?

When we married in 1978, Carl's late Uncle Jack and Aunt Mary Ann asked us to go canoeing sometime.  We took them up on the offer and took our first canoe trip down the Waupaca River, a gently twisting stream with very minor riffles.    We had never canoed before and not knowing how to steer, we bounced off of every rock and under every spider-infested overhanging tree branch in the river.   We fought like cat and dog all the way downstream, and even now, over thirty years later, we affectionately refer to this river as "The Honeymoon River".  To this day, the best test of any relationship is to put two loving rookie canoeists in this small river and wait to see if they are still speaking by the end of the float trip!  Despite the difficulties we encountered on our maiden voyage, the next week we were ready to go again, this time with our own, newly purchased 17' Coleman.

When the boys were born, they were introduced to canoeing before they were out of diapers.  Both Joel and Dave enjoyed canoeing, but since Joel got his first kayak for his 16th birthday eight years ago, he's never looked back.  Now he owns four kayaks for varying rivers and whitewater conditions and managed to kayak every month of the year in some body of water somewhere for the last two years.

He decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather this week by launching his kayak off the back wall of the quarry which is a yearly ritual with him, just for fun.  The quarry pond is not in the most pristine condition as it is in the midst of the spring turnover but it is high right now, so off he went.

 Here he is suited up in his wetsuit.

                                                           The approach to the quarry
Adjusting the waterproof camera mounted on the front of the kayak
and then getting ready to take the plunge!
I was holding my breath from my safe vantage point behind the camera
Here he goes---

Nothing like nice, cold water!
Earlier this spring, Joel was kayaking on the Oconto River along with the ice as it went downstream.  He's certainly got more courage than his two old parents!

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