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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Red River - Mandy's Inaugural Float - May 31, 2014

Red River, May 31, 2014                 Miles Traveled 7, Total 300 miles
Me, Scotty, Tina, Mandy, Ian

Today we went 7 miles down the Red River.  Mandy bought a new kayak and wanted to try it out.  She had never even been in a kayak, but felt like this is something she could do with her new found freedom.  Tina and Ian rented kayaks from Red River Canoe rental.  It was a beautiful day for kayakking.  Apparently Tina and Ian warned Mandy that she would tip.  Funny that she didn't fall in, but instead Tina when she encountered a tree during a river bend and the water speed picked up a little.  Good thing she had her important things in a dry bag - important things like her badge and gun.  I'm not sure who she thought she might encounter on the river, as I've encountered only the very nicest people out in kayaks.  Her job apparently gives her a different outlook on the people in our world :(  We did see a snake in the river about 1 mile into the trip. This was the first snake I've seen when out kayakking, and another friend Jim told us that last week a snake actually crawled over the back of his kayak when going this very same river.  While paddling, Ethan group texted that he was out on Curt's kayak, Rachel texted that she was on her way to Chicago, I texted my tongue out, and Amanda ended the text with a bored face saying she hated us all!

We traded kayaks towards the end of our trek and Tina and Ian saw the advantages of our Wilderness kayaks over their rental kayaks.  When I paddled in Tina's, I realized once again that this kayak is one of the BEST purchases I have ever made.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Red River - Start of Summer - May 29, 2014

Red River, May 29, 2014                     Miles Traveled 7, Total 293 miles
Rachel, Beatrix, me
Port Royal to Adams
2 hours 12 minutes

It was the first day of my summer break and a great way to start it.  It was a hot, humid day - 30% rain forecasted, but it never did rain.   We paddled/floated and passed very few people which is unusual on this river (but it was a weekday).  We did see a brown, striped snake within the first mile.  That's the first time I had seen a snake while kayaking.  It freaked us out - thinking that there might be other snakes.   One thing I should note after seeing the photos.  Rachel apparently had fun taking selfies!
Afterwards, Rachel and I stopped at a strawberry patch to pick strawberries.   Yum!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

West Fork River - Blueway Rally

West Fork River/Blueway Rally, May 17, 2014         14.7 miles, Total 286 miles

Total Time 5:22, Moving Time 4:20,  Moving Average 3.4mph, Maximum Speed 7.3
Me, Ethan, Dick, Dina with Blueway Adventures

This was my first paddle after my 'arm incident'.  The arm incident started April 2 when I was bit by something, got cellulitis, went on 3 antibiotics, antibiotics made me very sick, visited doctors 4 times, turned out to be bursitis.  Needless to say it was a very, very long month.  And this turned out to be a very long paddle after not being able to use my right arm.  About 3 miles from the end I just wanted to be out of the water, but I made it.
As for the paddle, it was a great day.  There were maybe 20-25 people there for the rally.  One thing that the leader of Blueway Adventures said struck me as strange.  He said there MAY be some trees down between mile markers 5 and 6.  So guess what?  We were to first to get there and there was a huge tree blocking the river.  We were experienced paddlers and there was no way we were getting through.  Ethan to the rescue again as he helped last year with blockage.  He climbed out of his kayak and managed to move some branches and cut a path through.  It was a narrow path and we thought that might be a challenge for some of the kayakers who were out for their first time.  (Later I emailed the kayak group and suggested they check out the river the day before they plan a rally next time.  His response - thanks for coming out.)
The think about the West Fork River/Cumberland River is that there is no place to stop and get out.  The water does not appear clean.  There is one neat section where you can see the bluffs to your right and hear people up above on the greenway.  It is not my favorite river, but I do like supporting Clarksville and the blueway.