Summertime… There are days when I just have to leave the dogs behind and head out on the water. The Connecticut River has been calling me… now down considerably from its previously high levels during the constant rains of May and most of June – it is high time I got out there. My kayaking partner Diane is heading out on a Maine vacation in a few days, so we wanted to get out there before she left. She’ll soon be paddling on the coast of Maine, then later this month, I’ll be out on Big Sebago – a small ocean-like lake capable of some mighty huge waves when stirred up by a sudden incoming storm (I take my 14 footer with me to Sebago – handles the waves a lot better than my regular 12 footer which is put to use around here). In past years, Diane and I have been out on the water in early May… making as much of the kayaking season as possible. With luck, we keep going through the end of October.
During the week is the time to go. We have the river pretty much to ourselves. Today was the perfect day: mid 80 degrees, clear blue skies, and low humidity. As we peacefully floated along the serene water, we spotted three regal herons along the shoreline. So quiet. Peaceful. Not another boat in sight.
We always pack a light lunch and paddle as far as an island in the middle of the River. Here, we pull up along the bank. Good to get out and stretch after paddling for about an hour and have our lunch break. By the time we headed back to the boat launch, several large, powerful motorboats were heading out on the water. Our timing was perfect. Tomorrow – 4th of July – the River will explode with activity. No thanks! I like the River to myself… to float, ponder, and relax.
I‘m moaning and groaning a bit now as my muscles are aching from the very different type of activity – along with the shoulder, arm, and upper torso workout from paddling, there’s loading and unloading, then reloading and re-unloading… man – those muscles really got a workout today. All my dog walking exercise doesn’t help with this. Ugh… I’m feeling so out-of-shape!
As much as I love spending most of my time with my dogs… time out in a kayak, with a subtle breeze in the air… is pure heaven. When I got home, I received a hearty welcome from the canine crew… They didn’t scold, like a person might do for being left behind. No, they all just wagged their tails and wiggled with excitement at seeing me walk through the door. After a romp out in the back field, we’re all relaxing on the porch… the end of a perfect day.