Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lake Murray: Kayaking in the steel winds of march-

Notice the crystal clear water and the waves-beautiful and intimidating.

This is the first kayak trip of our road trip and at this point I am rethinking the whole idea. I can't say it was wonderful. I have gotten to the point where every kayak trip lately has been amazing and relaxing but not this one. It was cold, windy and the water kept threatening with extreme winds and higher waves. It's a bit unnerving to be on a kayak drifting very quickly away from the shore. Of course, my son seemed indifferent to our impending doom as there were small mouth bass to be caught and that's all that mattered.

I never did get to the point of being relaxed, I was watching waves smash the front of the kayak and thinking the swim back would've been rough if not impossible. My son's idea of grabbing on to the kayak and just towing back to shore didn't seem like a working process either as feeling the icy chill of the water, we realistically wouldn't have the physical strength in our hands nor the clarity of mind to hold on to a kayak and be towed to shore, all of these thoughts kept me a bit on edge to say the least.

I have mentioned before my lack of comfort on open water-again why am I kayaking with a fear of open water? I have gotten mostly past this idea and that fear seemed distant at best with the reality of the peace that kayaking brings me. The fear was back and rampant and maybe for good reason-instinct to survive. Being out on rough water reminds me of riding a horse, you have to show the animal that you are in charge, right up until it bucks you and shows its not only not buying it but can throw you with very little effort, so is the lake water. The waves smash against the front of your boat and as much as you act like your in control it shows you very quickly how fast it can turn you over and change the whole day.

The water is clear and amazingly fresh-there is a sweetness you can smell- a fragrance I can barely describe. The waves are almost a pale malachite color-so beautiful and yet still rather grumpy this early March afternoon. My legs are still sore from standing in the fifty degree water and in an attempt to keep warm I have over layered myself with jackets, now you start to sweat and at the same time the awkwardness of being wrapped up too tight brings back that familiar awkward feeling. I stop along the way only to get slammed into the rocks and tangled up in my fishing line. Like I said, a bit uncomfortable and most intimidating.

Another problem we were both experiencing was the lack of energy. The eggs we intended to have before kayaking turned into grey mush with a very strong wind and a lack of good firewood or charcoal.  We ended up having to charge our engines with sunflower seeds and cliff bars-tasty and all but we needed more nourishment to keep up strong against the winds and waves. It ended with an exhausted kayaker still hungry and a son who was disgusted with the fore mentioned kayaker unable to maintain body heat and interest in kayaking.

The rest of the day was wonderful and an amazing thing happened, I found my relaxation. My son went fishing while I sat down and wrote, sketched and took in all the amazing nature that surrounded me. I photographed what was around me and just had an incredible moment to find my inner self that needed so much to feel the silence and beauty of the outdoors-my first feeling of being detached and peaceful.

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