Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Last Paddle?

I believe days like today are numbered. It was 34 degrees when I woke up this morning but the sun warmed up nicely. It almost hit 60 degrees! The hills surrounding Fairbanks saw snow flurries last weekend. Yup, these warm days are in short supply. To celebrate such a lovely day I went for a paddle on Birch Lake. Kayaking is good for the soul and the best way to adjust one's attitude.

It was a gorgeous afternoon. Paddling with the wind, the movement of the boat felt effortless. The sweet and crisp, yet slightly musty scent of the lake filled my Flonase enhanced nostrils.

My goodness. I may never be able to go back to a regular job where I have to work 8-5 Monday-Friday and can't go kayaking when the mood strikes me. I realized the other day that I actually have a 3/4 time job. My contract is for 200 days. And given the flexibility I have in scheduling when I work, that shit is dope! 

It was dreamily quiet once I reached the middle of the lake. Before the wind picked up I sat there for some time bobbing in the water. Occasionally a would fish jump. Closer to shore you can watch the fish swimming among the lily pads.

Best of all, the mountains were out today. Nothing beats kayaking under the watchful eye of an Alaskan peak.

My how calm the water looked from the boat launch! So deceptive. In the middle of the lake it was a different story. I was soaked when I reached shore from the water on my paddle being sprayed back on me. 

By the time I had the boat loaded on the car to go home, I was punch-drunk giddy. My feet were freezing from having been in the water when launching and landing; and I was super relieved not to have fallen into the water in front of the people fishing (aka watching me) from the dock.

I told them this is the point in time when they should look away in case I fall in, but they did not. I managed to not drop my boat or pee my pants. It was a good day. Having a boat boy would be nice though to load up the ol' boat when I'm done. Oh well. I guess that's why I do Crossfit. No, no, no, not to find a boat boy but to be strong enough to load my own boat! C'me on, now.

I saw this oddity on the drive home: a car seat hanging on a guard rail. Did it fall out of someone's car (presumably without a baby in it) and no one in the car noticed? Did the person who hung the car seat thing think someone might come back for it? The entire scenario bamboozles me! I don't understand.

I must have been colder than I thought while paddling. Once home I took a nap. I was bone tired. A state of exhaustion not from having physically worked hard, but from my body working hard to maintain homeostasis.

Makes sense, I suppose. In addition to my bare feet having been immersed in the water, I was virtually sitting in 50ish degree water for two hours without proper insulation. Having my left arm and torso soaked didn't help. The warm air temperature lured me into forgeting a primary rule of kayaking: dress for the water not the air. You just never know when you're going in.

Kitties understand this exhaustion.