Probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done…

…but it was fun.

My elbows have been painful all week, so it wasn’t the smartest thing to go paddling today. But I look some Alieve and vowed to concentrate on good technique and keeping my wrists relaxed. It probably helped. My elbows don’t feel much worse than they did before.

We got there around 6pm. The guy working there asked if we could be back by 7, because he had a birthday party to go to. I was a little reluctant, because normally we go for an hour and a half or more. But then he said “Oh wait, you guys are in the frequent paddler program, right? Ok, I’ll just leave the padlocks on the paddle and life jacket racks open, and you can just put everything away and lock up when you’re done.” Cool. It’s nice to be trusted.

As we were getting ready to leave, a woman left in her own fibreglas kayak. She looked like she knew what she was doing as she headed up stream. The thunderstorms of this weekend have raised the creek level and flushed out the stinky algae we encountered last week. It also meant we were facing a stronger than usual current.

I don’t know why, but it seems like practically nobody was on the creek today. We saw a few people, but we also saw plenty of turtles, swans and herons, more so than we usually see in an evening. Three quarters of the way up to the wier, that same woman we saw heading up was coming down, this time with two other women. She told us that the weir was nearly impassable. We got there and found she was absolutely right – there were trees blocking the non-passable parts of the weir that were forcing all the water through the middle part, and the middle part had an extremely strong current going through it.

Vicki held back while I tried it. I started very strong going up one side eddy, but as soon as I put the nose of the kayak into the stream I got pushed sideways and I also got rolled a bit. I should have been expecting that, but it’s been too long since I’ve done this sort of thing. The fact that I got surprised by it and nearly took on water in the cockpit made me decide to not do this – I didn’t want to swamp way the hell up the creek. If I’d had a spray skirt, I would have continued. But instead I just braced and ferried into the other eddie.

Vicki and I headed back, and it sure was fun going with the strong current. Vicki was really getting into it, and paddling much harder than usual. That suited me just fine, because it meant I could paddle closer to the speed I paddle when I’m alone, which is a more efficient and better exercise speed for me.

Even though we took the long way home, we got back just on 7pm, and the guy was closing up. We put our stuff away without his help, and he refused to take our money even though we used up our pre-paid rental hours. I guess we’ll get him next time. It’s nice to be trusted.

Man I wish my elbows didn’t hurt so much.

This is your talent…

I’m listening to The Pogues “Streams of Whiskey” all the way through for the first time. I’ve listened to individual cuts once or twice. I swear, you could use this in a Public Service Announcement commercial on the dangers of alcoholism.

“Pogue Mahone” – This is your talent
“Streams of Whiskey” – This is your talent ruined by chronic alcoholism.
Any questions?