To enjoy your goals, think of them as signposts, pointing you in a certain direction. They give you a focus and help your energy to get moving. The way you go is up to you; you can get very uptight focusing only on getting to your goal or you can relax and enjoy the entire journey, appreciating every unexpected bend and turn of the road, every new opportunity for learning and feeling
~ Shakti Gawain
Back in January I decided to skip the New Year’s resolutions and instead take up the challenge of doing 15 Things this year, most of them with fun in mind. I am happy to report that I have completed 5 of my 15 Things. There are three things I won’t be able to complete this year. I missed Veg Fest and the blooming of the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., and I’m unable to sign up for the CSA because our CSA is taking this year off. Maybe I’ll get to those things next year.
In the meantime, I have taken a walk on the boardwalk in Ocean City (more on that soon). I have gone to a concert and listened to live music.
I have seen (more than one) film at a theater, and I visited Trap Pond State Park in Delaware where I finally went kayaking for the very first time in my life.
M and I have had to put off going kayaking due to the weather. Yesterday we finally lucked into a day in which there were no thunderstorms predicted or hanging around waiting to move in.
So, we set out early yesterday morning for Trap Pond State Park up in Delaware where we could rent a tandem kayak. The day was one of those brightly overcast days that are particularly bad for photographing the landscape. It was also hot and humid although we did find a slight breeze out on the water.
I took Lulu with me on this trip since she is designed to be everything-proof and I wouldn’t have to worry about getting the camera wet. There is, of course, the worry that I might drop Lulu into the water, but I fastened her securely to the life vest I was required to wear (and would wear even if I wasn’t required to wear it).
I was keen to go on my first kayaking trip at Trap Pond State Park for two reasons: I would be learning to kayak on a pond rather than having to deal with the currents and tides of the creeks and rivers around here, and the Bald Cypress trees. I have been told, and it appears to be true, that the best way to see the Bald Cypress trees in the swamps and wetlands is by water. That is my main motivation for learning to kayak. I want to see the trees. I also want to see some of the other things I might not otherwise be able to see from land. Birds, turtles, fish, and whatever else the waterways have to offer.
Some of you might laugh at this, but when I first got in the kayak, I had a mild moment of panic. I don’t know why. I am a decent swimmer. The pond is not that deep. There were no storms coming. What could I possibly be afraid of?
It didn’t help matters that the kayak was wobbly and as soon as we pushed off shore the section where I had my feet planted was filling up with water. Or at least I thought it was filling up with water. It turns out that the type of kayak we were using, a sit-on-top, is designed with small holes in the bottom. I’m not sure why. Something to do with waves and surf kayaking. At any rate, we weren’t sinking, as the worker at the rental place informed us after we rowed back to shore within minutes of setting out. If M could have seen what was going on in the front of the boat where I was sitting, he probably could have reassured me that all was well and as it should be. He has been kayaking several times.
I had my moment of panic and turning around, but I didn’t back out. We set out again and before I knew it, an hour had gone by and we were paddling back to the beach where we started. It took me a while to get used to the wobbles. Paddling was awkward at first, but I found a rhythm eventually. My wrists, arms, shoulders, and upper back all feel well worked out today. Just a slight soreness to the muscles that lets me know I used them.
According to Wikipedia, Trap Pond is “one of the largest surviving fragments of what was once an extensive wetland” in Sussex County, Delaware, and has the northernmost natural stand of Bald Cypress trees on the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. There were signs up indicating that swimming is not allowed in Trap Pond. It wasn’t until later that we saw the warnings regarding blue-green algae and how it might be harmful to humans and other animals.
We did not go swimming and other than a brief walk in the water near shore to get in and out of the kayak, we didn’t have much skin contact with the water. Nonetheless, we did rinse off our legs and feet when we finished.
We did see quite a few birds and turtles along the way. There were other folks out on the water in kayaks, canoes, and fishing boats, some of them fishing, some of them just floating along and enjoying the scenery. There is a pontoon boat tour given by park staff, and I’d like to do that. I could take the big girl camera on the pontoon without worries it will end up in the water. Pontoons are pretty stable.
I want to go kayaking again sometime soon. I still want to avoid currents and tides so I’m on the lookout for more pond or lake kayaking. The ideal thing would be to go to a clean water source so I can practice falling out and getting back in. Once I am prepared for what could go wrong, I will be more comfortable in a kayak.
I have a lot more photos I could share, and maybe I will someday soon. I would also like to show you more from the visit with my granddaughters. We’ll see how it goes this week. The weather is predicted to be hot and humid, and the garden tractor (riding mower) popped off a wheel and is waiting for parts and repair. What that means is that this week might be slow in terms of chores, giving me more time for other things.
Thank you for stopping by today, and joining me on my first kayak journey. It wasn’t a long journey, but it was fun. Sunset is still at 8:29 PM. I think it got stuck there around the solstice and hasn’t budged since. I might go to the Point to watch the show. It depends on what the clouds are doing. Thunderstorms are a good possibility. It might be best to watch from the screened-in porch here at the ranch.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: A swim in the pool after a walk outside and time spent working in the garden; morning meditation; iced mint tea; an omelet made with veggies from our garden; the fun of sorting through photos of my granddaughters.