Tuesday, October 20, 2009


1 3 7 9 10 3 7 6 9 7 3 5 8 1 2 9 11 16 21 64 87 32 67 2 98 22 100 29 76 39

I’m the type of person who usually looks forward rather than back. I get a lot of pleasure in the planning of things. I also love lists. I love to continually update them, and then check off the items as I’ve finished them. But it’s never occurred to me until just now, that I’d probably also love counting things too. I’m a biostatistician, so I like numbers.

Last year, and again this year, I’ve followed Canadian Ckayaker’s, counting. Last year Michael’s personal challenge was to paddle 100 days in a row. I recall thinking he might have gotten started a bit late, as winter would certainly shut him out, but he did indeed finish.

This year, I’ve noticed he’s tallying again. When I asked him, he said he’s counting the number of paddles he's done this year. I couldn’t help but wonder why I’ve never thought to do that. I’ve always liked having some kind of measuring tool (it’s usually my crossed off lists).

I also have never kept a journal or log of my paddling trips, though certainly my blog has a history over the past 3-4 years. I remember Nigel Dennis telling me how important it was to keep a log of classes I’ve taught and trips I’ve lead, even trips I’ve done solo or with partners. I’m usually too busy afterwards cleaning stuff up, and starting to plan my next adventure. Sometimes the planning begins before the last one is even completed :)

Counting, I can do. I'll think about a log later.

1 3 7 9 10 3 7 6 9 7 3 5 8 1 2 9 11 16 21 64 87 32 67 2 98 22 100 29 76 39

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Colors, One Way or Another

I had planned a kayak camping trip up in the N.C. mountains at Lake James State Park with the CKC kayak club this past weekend. This trip was on the calendar for a couple of months, and was timed for fall foliage peak colors . But one by one the fairly large group started to dwindle, until there were only a few of us left earlier in the week, and with weather reports for cold and rain all weekend, we all opted to cancel.

My daughter was planning to join us for a day of paddling. Instead I drove up and visited her (she lives in the area) for the weekend. The fall colors were absolutely beautiful, we took a short drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and had a picnic lunch at a scenic overview. Drizzly but not too wet.

Forgot my camera so no great photos, but I did take a cell pic of us to take home. The mountain range in the background speaks to why it's named the Blue Ridge.

No paddling, but pretty busy visiting, driving around, shopping, out to dinner and to a movie, and then a nice jog in the park with Tana and her puppy Quinn on Sunday morning before driving home. It's all good.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Lunch in Oriental

I went back to the coast last weekend feeling the need to paddle some miles. I wasn’t able to find time to paddle the weekend before working the WaterTribe North Carolina Challenge, so I was looking really forward to this.

Lee had organized the trip, and with Barrett, Jay, Abbey and me, our route was planned to take us across the Newport River, up the ICW, camping on the Neuse River, and paddling back down the Harlow Canal on Sunday.

I had hoped we’d see a few nice yachts on the ICW, Snowbirds on their Southern migration, but I think we were a few weeks early. It would have made for a nice roller coaster ride with all the reverberating boat wakes. It was a great paddle none the less. I’d never been on that section of the ICW before.

We left early Saturday morning to beat the tide change and made such good time we opted for a seafood lunch over at Oriental. Fried oyster burgers, delicious! And the weather was perfect.

After lunch and a short walk around the waterfront, we paddled back across the Neuse for a nice camp on a sandy beach. We set up tents then sat around and watched a local fisherman drop his net then take a nap in his boat just a short ways from our camp. Unfortunately we couldn’t see his catch as it was dark when he pulled it in.

The evening offered an absolutely beautiful sunset then a huge bright full moon. Later during the night the wind kicked just a bit and I slept to the sounds of waves breaking on our beach. Just perfect!

On the water in the morning, we paddled and enjoyed the narrow and forested Harlow Canal, much of which borders the Croatan National Forest. When it was all done, we'd paddled about 45 miles, a weekend trip with a bit of everything.