I went paddling today. This time I didn’t have anybody with me to moderate my paddling, so of course I went out too fast and went too far. I got to the point where Vicki and I turned back on the weekend, and it only took me about 20 minutes (Vicki and I took about an hour there and back). Just past there the creek doesn’t seem to get any narrower, but it gets very shallow except for a deep channel on the outside of curves, so the current gets very strong. Also, it gets pretty twisty with overhanging trees upstream from there, so you spend a lot of time pausing to read the river and sweeping on one side or the other.
That’s where I noticed something that I’d mentioned last year some time – sometimes when I’m going around the inside of a corner where it gets shallow, my wake will hit the bank and bounce back and push my stern out, helping me around the corner. Also on straightish sections, the boat seems to hunt around for the deep part – it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going, but I think the wake is bouncing off the bottom or something.
There were a fair number of people out on the river, including three racing canoes hammering downstream in close formation. It was just that sort of day where you had to leave work early and enjoy it. As well as the canoes and kayaks, I saw my first swan of the season, plus it appears that the female redwing blackbirds have finally come to join their males. I also saw a couple of nests in the reeds – sort of basket-like and up high. I think they must be last year’s.
According to the Google Maps Pedometer, I went 4.3 miles, and it took me about an hour and five minutes. It took me about 35 minutes to get up to Browncroft Ave and 30 minutes to get back. I guess that shows how much I overdid it – in spite of the strong current I couldn’t go downstream much faster than I went up.
One strange thing – last time I paddled, I found a lump of dried blood on the side of my left leg and a small scab. My legs get a bit numb when I’m paddling, so it’s easy to imagine me cutting myself without noticing. This time, same thing. Dried blood in the same place, and some on the floor of the cockpit. I can’t tell if I re-cut myself or re-opened the same wound. I looked very hard to find something I could have cut myself on in the cockpit, and I can’t find it. I’m going to have to remember to put on a bandaid next time.
My elbows are throbbing now, but I’ve taken some Alieve and I’m hoping it will get better.