Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Kayaking’ Category

Almost to Waldron Island, we met up with my parents and Noah. The motoring mothership dwarfed the kayak we generally call the Big Banana. Dana elected to jump on board with them, so Tom & I powered the crossing without her.

The mothership motored ahead for a bit, then paced us alongside (“you’re making almost 5 knots” dad yelled), and finally settled in behind us.

With the weather a bit grey, we were happy to slide into Mail Bay and land right onto the beach. The mothership, of course, had to fiddle with their anchor and their dinghy to come ashore. Two very different species (the whale and the minnow?), double the options for the kids, an awesome adventure to Waldron Island.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Kayak Artwork

Dana & her dad kayaked 4 hours to pick me up on Orcas Island, and I think at that point she was pretty happy to hang out in the center of our triple while I took over paddling. We headed north to camp on Clark Island, which put us in position for paddling to Waldron the next day.

Since Dana would have plenty of non-paddling ride time, she became chief dolphin counter and eagle spotter. I also gave her a grease pencil, which other kayakers would use to mark compass bearings on their deck for glancing at easily. She had free reign to decorate our kayak, and used her creativity to document our journey. If you look carefully, you’ll see she’s noted “awesome person” with an arrow to herself. Her dad got “primate” with a similar arrow pointing at him.

She mostly wrote while we were paddling, but she did write “paddle mom” and a few other comments in front of me before we launched.

The grease pencil was well worth it, and the illustrated kayak makes me smile. I wonder how long we can leave it on before it becomes permanent. On the other hand, perhaps the artist needs a clean slate for her next thoughts.

Read Full Post »

Some years ago, we did a family kayaking trip on Ross Lake. When I wrote about it for Adventures Northwest Magazine, I described my daughter’s interest in a particular waterfall area and how she thought of it as a perfect habitat for fairies. That place has been a special memory, and when I asked her what she wanted to do this summer, she said, “go back to Ross Lake!”

So we recruited another mother-daughter pair, and headed out for a 4-day adventure. With a landslide having changed the portage from Lake Diablo to Ross Lake, we thought navigating the new 100 yard carry-your-boat section would be a major challenge. Turned out a kind group of park service folks helped us, we were on time to meet the truck that would move our boats to complete the portage, and we were on to Cougar Island quite smoothly.

There’s nothing like having an entire little island all to yourself. Next time, I think I might pick entirely island sites. Although May Creek was a magical spot, as well.

We knew the weather window was a little questionable, so we were happy with high grey rather than rain. And the one time it did rain, the sun was shining on us. It made the rain sparkle and shine, and was such a visual treat, I didn’t mind getting a little wet.

We mixed up the paddle partners when the lake was calm, so the girls could paddle together sometimes. I think our girls in skirts had great fun in the land of the fairies.

Read Full Post »

Our community’s Memorial Day Ski to Sea event has been raced by my husband and I for many years. Eight-person relay teams start on Mt. Baker with cross-country skiing and downhill skiing, head down the mountain running and bicycling, take to the river canoeing, mountain bike into town and then cross the bay kayaking. The kids variously come along and cheer, or stay in town with friends and meet us at the finish.

This year, we’re doing it all car-free. That means the folks who have mountain starts will bicycle 50 miles the day before and camp out, before getting up early Sunday to bike the remaining 10 miles to their starting positions. Tom’s our cross-country skier, and will be using our bike trailer to tow skis up and the runner’s bike down to her finish. There are lots of entertaining logistics – like bicycling the canoe 25 miles to their start – but we’re going to have fun with this.

I’m mountain biking this year. That means 14 miles to the start on race day, 14 miles of racing, then a few more to the kayak finish. And on Saturday, I’ll be helping get the kayak into position which will include walking 3/4 mile from my house down to the water, and retrieving our kayaker by tandem bike after she paddles it to the start.

We may even have the kids help with the logistics, biking between the in town legs with support gear. And in a few more years we can think about entering the family division. Or maybe they’ll have a car-free division by then.

Read Full Post »

P7190478With a kayak overnight in Puget Sound an easy possibility from where we live, our yellow triple kayak got in the water for the first time this year. A paddle with friends to Saddlebag Island introduced new folks to the fun of kayaking.

Our boat hasn’t been in use much in the last year because our family has outgrown the big banana kayak. We can no longer fit both kids or a kid and an adult comfortably into the center, allowing the whole family to paddle in one boat.

For a family trip, we’ll now need to borrow a double or a single kayak to accompany our triple. But we don’t have a way to carry two boats on our car. That suggests we’ll need to experiment with trips from the local dock that we can access easily. Another lesson in considering adventuring close to home. We’re lucky to have paddle possibilities that can begin just a mile from our house, so here’s to not overlooking them.

Read Full Post »