1 posts categorized "The Great Outdoors"

04/17/2010

I Thought My Arms Were Going to Fall Off

Last Saturday we had a canoe/kayak trip with some friends. We were calling it the "Greenhorn Canoe Trip" and I didn't realize how "green" I really was.

We paddled 10 miles on the Brazos River, which comes out of Possum Kingdom Lake.

We used a local outfitter and we had a choice between getting a canoe or a kayak. Cody and I ended up being the only pair in a canoe, the remaining five chose were in three kayaks.

It was a beautiful day and we got into the water about 8am.

P4100004

P4100011

We knew the forecast included wind for later in the day, so we were glad to set out early. It was beautiful! The wind hadn't picked up yet so we were able to do a better job of keeping the canoe straight. I was in the front and Cody in the back.

P4100016

I thought there would be more water flow on the Brazos. Only in a few places along the 10 miles would we get much water movement. We had to paddle pretty much the entire time to keep moving forward.

Since I was in the front I would paddle and Cody would try to go to the opposite side to keep it straight. I don't think I did a very good job at staying in any kind of a pattern. Left . . . Right . . . Right . . . Right . . . Left . . . Right . . . Left . . . I try to keep Cody guessing, you know?

My river experiences have mostly been whitewater, in New Mexico and Colorado, so I didn't think it'd be this much work. I'm used to somewhat of a current, which can give your arms a bit of a break!

P4100017

We also hit some pretty low areas. We've had a pretty wet winter, but we haven't had a lot of rain recently this Spring. Also, the Brazos is controlled by the dam at Possum Kingdom Lake. Unless they're releasing water, it can get pretty low.

P4100020

P4100026

My butt starting hurting at this point. Next time I go canoing I'm going to bring one of those seats you bring to football games.

P4100035

We stopped for a break. Food break, bathroom break and I-need-to-rest-my-arms break.

P4100052

Jacque and I, the only females on the trip, set off to find a place suitable to use the bathroom. The sides of the river in places were a thick mud that was really hard to walk in, as you can see . . . Dace fell and was covered in the mud. It was pretty funny.

P4100044

Later on the route we would pull over to the side of the river, grab a tree and take a break. This is one of the last times we took pictures on the trip. Largely because my arms stopped working after this point.

I kept paddling, but they have never quite been this tired before.

The last 2 miles of the trip were the worst. The wind was blowing so hard and Cody and I had to paddle 100% of the time to try to keep the canoe going forward. The wind would then catch the canoe, on either side, and literally send us straight into the bank.

We zig-zagged across the lake while our kayak-counterparts had a little bit easier time keeping their boats straight.

P4100063

Words can't describe how glad I was to see the pick-up point! We dragged our boats in and waited for the outfitter to pick us up.

We waited for an hour and a half.

Then, finally they came.

P4100078

We had to ride in the back of the truck. The 15 minute ride, to sum it up, was essentially sitting on dirty life-vests, under some canoes that were tied to the top of the truck, holding on for our lives.

And my arms were shot.