As I stated in my game recap this morning, I set out in my kayak with every intention of catching the sunrise. That didn’t work out so well, because the rising sun hid behind the morning fog. What? All this pre-dawn fumbling around to wind up being foiled by Mother Nature? Harrumph!
Why can’t the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Oakland Raiders, the crappiest team in the NFL? But I digress, wistfully. Harrumph!
I met some of my relatives along the river today (see picture), and all-in-all it was a wonderful nine-mile paddle. I encountered many gators and turtles sunning themselves on logs, all kinds of birds, and only three other boats on the Whole Damn River (WDR). One was another old fart in a pretty red kayak. The other two were stink-boats. Harrumph!
One such stink-boat was a flat-bottom fisherman with a guy inside tossing a couple of lines out into the river. As I neared his boat (which wasn’t stinking, as it was stopped), a curious canine rose to attention with forepaws on gunwales. Very intimidating. Not. I dubbed the little Yorkie “Gator Bait.” Harrumph!
When I took out at Katie’s Landing, a Florida State Parks facility, the stink-boat guy turned up again, beaching his flat-bottom and loading it into the back of his pickup. I wonder what part of the gigantically lettered sign “LAUNCHING OF MOTORIZED VEHICLES PROHIBITED” did he not understand. I bet that his fishing license is expired, too. Harrumph!
I SUCK AT KAYAKING (ISAK) RULE #1: Always make your outbound segment downstream, so you have to paddle your weary ass upstream against the current on the way back. Yeah, I know. We’re only talking 2-3 knots here, but a current is a current. Downstream, I can be totally lazy, with the only need for a paddle being for steering. Upstream, I’ve got to work, and some of those currents in the wild & scenic section of the lazy Wekiva are pretty tricky. (Yeah, like I’m having whitewater delusions here. Harrumph!)
Of course, the task manhandling a 14-foot boat onto the top of an SUV that is almost as tall as I am after paddling for nine miles and with a bad back to begin with, adds more pain to the fun! Harrumph!
Actually, I had a great time. Great solitude. Time for contemplation. The feeling that this scenery was what the native Timacuans saw here 800 years ago. No condos, no Ponce de Leon, no strip clubs, and no deficient public schools. They should have stayed in charge, but instead, the white man drove them to extinction, like their cousins, the Fakowie. Harrumph!
A paddle on a lazy flowing river is good for the soul. I’ll share my pictures with you, hoping that your soul appreciates them as much as mine appreciated the opportunity to take them.
The only thing that would have made the day more perfect (aside from the Steelers, harrumph!) was if Jenny could have been with me. Our days on the water are too rare. I miss singing “water songs” to each other from our respective kayaks, particularly “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”