Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vagabond Vacationers and Kayaking Upstream in a Skirt

We spent the first two nights in a really fun, cozy cottage who belongs to in-law family friends I'll call the Masters. I swear the place could sleep 80 comfortably. It's a short kayak trip across Silver Lake from the mom-in-law's family compound where the pig roast took place.

We moved up the hill, through the woods to the riverside to our current establishment, which could best be describe as harkening back to the 70s.

I tried to follow the Kalamazoo inlets to SL back to our property via kayak, but I fought my way upstream quite a ways only to realize I had no clue where I was. Though the late afternoon sun had plenty left in it, I decided once I'd veered into the third channel, I'd be looking to get rescued if I kept going. Don't worry--the mighty K was rarely deeper than a foot. I wasn't worried about drowning. Or the mosquitoes, since I brought a full can of spray. I was looking at the vultures circling overhead.

I spun around and let the river take me back downstream. Normally, I look at my upper arms with great loathing. I, like lots od women, lambast myself for all of my physical faults, both real an imagined. But as the current pulled me back, I looked at my least favorite physical feature with gratitude. Those old arms fought hard against the current. I kept saying to myself I was never going to make it to that bend or past those channel markers, and despite my sweat an grunting, those points kept slipping past quickly. Those arms could have paddled me all the way back to the cottage, had my brain had any conception of how the K broke and branched. My usual navagatory methods were meaningless, so I turned back not in the least disappointed in myself. I hadn't met my original challenge, but I'd met one I hadn't expected and decided that my arms were good to me, and shouldn't be criticized so harshly anymore.

I paddled back to the Master's cottage, sprayed myself liberally and began the hike back to the riverside camp. Ken was lounging, unsurprised that I hadn't made it around. I cheerfully explained that ib got lost and floated back to familiar waters, but not before I had popped out of the kayak to dip in the river.

Coated in bugspray to help me survive the hike back home, sweating like a beast and ready for a beer, I picked out a book, grabbed my favorite watery domestic and settled in the hot tub to read Wilt, a 1976 laugh riot. I think the dude's name is Tom and his last name is definitley Sharpe. It's the first novel I've read in my typical voracious style since I starte writing for myself last August.

Anyway, we're evicted from the 70s nest tomorrow, so we're going to stay at the Ship n Shore, another 70s throwback. Google it. I want to kayak to there, meet Ken on the river and go all the way to the Lake, if possible. If weather permits.

Anyway, that's today's installment. I've been a very self-indulgent young lady. It's been a nice break but I look forward to seeing my baby and my lap-top on Thursday.


Anonymous said...

What's wrong with kayaking with a skirt on. I do it all the time...er I mean I don't kayak that's a little gay.

Luke Baggins said...

I generally avoid the outdoors, but Kayaking is the one outdoor activity I look forward to trying again when I have a job. In Seattle you don't have to leave city-limits to find non-smelly water to Kayak in. I don't know if I would want to be that close to the water of any of the rivers in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

What you mean, the water is fine. Sure I have a third arm growing from my back from swimming in it, but it's very useful.