Thursday, June 21, 2012

Now I'm Feeelin' it!

The official weather records state that Fairbanks hit 80 degrees for the first time this past Tuesday. Halleluiah! To celebrate, I bought myself a kayak! I've been missing my boat terribly and it rips my heart in two to drive past lakes and rivers not being able to paddle them. So, rather than send the summer in despondency and on anti-depressants, I threw some money at the problem and bought a boat. Isn't she purdy? There's nothing I love more than seeing a boat on my car.

My new to me, Necky Eskia

The guy I bought it from was selling it to help fund his honeymoon. Now that's love: selling your kayak to pay for the honeymoon. Very sweet.

For my inaugural paddle I went to Birch Lake. It was a great day.

I could live there. Although the houses with a beach were nice too.

This new boat is an inch wider than the one I have in California. What a difference an inch makes! Um, yeah...anyway...  It felt like I was paddling a barge. It also has a rudder which is a different style of paddling for me. When paddling without a rudder you're constantly making small course corrections by using different strokes, and leaning the boat to one side or another to go the direction you want. Paddling rudderless, the boat feels more like an extension of yourself, not just an object you're manipulating. It's part of what makes paddling fun. Yet sometimes it's nice for the boat to just go straight without a fuss. That's where a rudder comes in handy.

Saw a moose! I wanted to get closer but was afraid she'd swim after me.

Along one shore of the lake, there is a military recreation area with cabins, and other beachy accoutrements, for military personnel. Guess where I stopped for a few hours to work on my my Vitamin D absorption (i.e., my tan)?! There was only one other group there and oh, yes, men building a structure. They had a lot of tools. 

View from the military recreation area.

The real success of the day was that I was able to load my boat onto my car by myself. It is not easy wielding a 60 lb, 16 foot boat onto a car that is taller than you! When I was leaving Birch Lake there was an  audience at the boat launch. Of course! About 10 guys actually. I managed to put my boat on top of my car without a) dropping the boat and b) scratching my car. No easy feat.

I also managed to launch and land without falling out of my boat. Again, a major accomplishment. Especially with onlookers!

This weekend summer solstice festivities abound in Fairbanks! Saturday there is the midnight sun run. From various descriptions I've heard, it sounds like a city sanctioned opportunity to have open containers on city streets. Should be a good time.There's a midnight baseball game, street fairs, live music and something called FoodStock (3-days of live music and food) at the local biker bar. I can't wait.
Oh, are you wondering what it's like to have the summer off, and to not work? Let me be the first to inform you -- it is fanfuckingtastic. Word.