Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Getting Ducks in a Row (While Rowing) and Fighting the Summer Slump


I thought I might be misremembering so I went into Goodreads yesterday to see what I read in June. About half of a book. So yeah, I wasn't misremembering! I seem to have hit my standard summer slump. When the weather is gorgeous and other things are calling, there's really nothing to do but go with the flow. What's flowing?

A new academic term just kicked up today for the school where I teach in-person one night a week. My class doesn't actually meet until tomorrow night, but I had some last minute course things to do in Blackboard this weekend and this morning. Now that all that stuff is done, I can move on to other things: Book Riot and Panels posts, bloggy stuff, an attempt at reading some comics, a library trip for Greyson.

We had a fairly uneventful Fourth of July. Saturday was our busiest day: up and out the door for a run at 5:30, one of Greyson's classmates had a mid-day, outdoor birthday party (in the 97-degree heat) complete with a gigantic inflatable water slide, then we took G to his dad, and David and I spent the evening kayaking!

Y'all, I just didn't know how much fun kayaking is. I've always been scared of it for a few reasons:

1. I'm not crazy about murky water that I can't see the bottom of.
2. Would I get stuck in the narrow seat?
3. It looks hard! Would my arms fall off from rowing?

So yeah, all those excuses went out the window on our lake vacation last week. I got my first taste of kayaking in a one-person boat on Caddo Lake. Speaking of murky...it is the murkiest! It's Texas's only natural lake (which is sort of terrifying in itself), and it's full of gators and mud. That water is gross! Our cabin had canoes and kayaks on site, so we gave it a whirl and I LOVED IT. I did not get stuck in the seat. Rowing was not nearly as hard as I expected. No gators grabbed me.

When David and I got back to town, we started looking for places to rent kayaks on our local lake...Lake Ray Hubbard...which is a ginormous reservoir. We found a business with a reasonable price and made a reservation for a 2-hour tandem kayaking trip so we could try it out. It was SOOOO GREAT. The water is a lot cleaner, the lake is wayyyy bigger, and there's a paddle park where a lot of kayakers and upright paddleboarders go to launch and hang out. There's a big paddling "trail"...6+ miles...around the lake in a no wake zone so you won't get squished by a big boat or jet ski.

Needless to say, I'm hooked. Absolutely hooked. We're looking into the possibility of buying our own kayaks and going out regularly. We're also poking around for good-sized local ponds where we might be able to go out and row for a bit in the early mornings here in town since the proper lake is about a 25 minute drive.

As for that vacation? I don't mean to let it be an afterthought because we had a great time. We stayed in the cutest cabin, paddled, cooked out, and generally enjoyed the down time.


I hope the last week has been a great one for you with lots of reading and fun time! Do tell me what you've been up to. 







21 comments:

  1. That sounds lovely! I've never been kayaking, but I do have fond memories of taking a little rowboat out on the lake at the YMCA camp where my family used to vacation. There is something so relaxing about being out on the water!

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    1. It is sooooo relaxing! I love water, though I generally prefer a pool I can see the bottom of! Ha! But I have to admit, I'm very much in love with kayaking, so I'm coming around to the lake idea. It's so much fun! I hope you'll give it a go if you have a chance!

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  2. I'm not a strong swimmer, but I always thought kayaking (and surfing) looked like a lot of fun. Glad you put aside those fears and went for it!

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    1. I'm glad too, Katherine! I could've stayed hung up in those fears, but I figured I might as well jump in and just do the damn thing. So glad I did!

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  3. Kayaking was my absolute favorite activity at camp when I was younger. I too am not crazy about huge, murky bodies of water, but once you're settled into the kayak, it's easy to forget about what's lurking down below. I'm glad you love it so much—you have me wanting to get back into it myself! Maybe when I get to Seattle.

    It seems like a bunch of us hit a June slump, and I think you're right on the money about other activities calling to us instead. I've just wanted to be outside, or watching TV, or knocking things off my to-do list. The books will be there waiting for us when we get back.

    I'm so glad you had a nice vacation, and I hope you enjoy getting back into the swing of things!

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    1. It definitely is easy to forget what might be swimming around underneath. We saw quite a few fish jump out of the water which was fun. Some cranes. Some ducks. A dirty camper. lol Same here re: summer and being outside or watching TV. I've watched more TV lately than I everrrr do: Food Network Star and now I've started Parks and Rec. Watch out!

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  4. I'm afraid of kayaking because of tipping over! I'm glad you're loving it.

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    1. I was REALLY scared of that, but once we were in, it felt really secure. And I have to say, the tandem sit-on style kayak felt a lot less wobbly than the one-person more enclosed style. That surprised me.

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  5. Kayaking is THE BEST. After swimming, it's hands down my second favourite sport :) I used to kayak every week until I moved away from the water and I still miss it. Glad you discovered it and you have a body of water close by where you can practice!

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    1. I'm a shitty swimmer. I love wading, though! lol I'm so tickled to have discovered this...now just gotta keep it going!

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  6. I kayaked for the firs time at camp last week because the girls in my group could not be on the lake without a counselor and they wanted their own boat so I got my butt into one and did great. So much so, that I now want to own one. I have a lake near me and could easily make it a "thing" if I wanted to. My arms didn't even hurt.

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    1. GO TI! It's so much fun, isn't it? I REALLY thought I was going to have a lot of soreness, but I really didn't. That surprised me, but I also know I still got a great core and arm workout. Winning!

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  7. Kayaking sounds cool! I have never done it, as my father's enthusiasm for it matches his enthusiasm for paddleboating, and I am frightened of paddleboating and have equated it with kayaking in my head. Really unfair to kayaking.

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    1. Oh girl, get thee into the kayak. It's soooo much fun.

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  8. I love that photo of you in the kayak. You look like you're really enjoying yourself.

    It has been grey and miserable here (as befits winter), so there has been lots of reading time on the couch.

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    1. Definitely! We were sooooo excited about that kayaking trip, and it definitely lived up to our expectations. How cold does it get where you live? I'm really yearning for fall/winter weather right now. It's blistering hot in Texas.

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  9. I'm so glad you enjoyed kayaking! I do it on the Chesapeake Bay (cleaner water, nice sandy bottom, no gators - holy cow!!) and have been teaching my 5 and 3 year olds to kayak on little baby kayaks my mom got for them. You should get one for Greyson...they're awesome!

    Hope your reading picks up!

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    1. Ahhh, that sounds so nice, Sarah! That whole gator thing FREAKED ME OUT. There was a guest book in our cabin for guests to write about their stay, and several families mentioned having seen a gator nearby when they went out with a flashlight at night. David and I tried it and didn't see anything but we freaked ourselves right on out.

      I LOVE that you're teaching your kids to kayak! Greyson rode with David when we were at the cabin, and he loved it. When we mentioned that we were going kayaking while he was at his dad's house, he was SOOOO MAD at us for not taking him, but we wanted to try it out again before we took him out. I love the idea of buying him a small one and teaching him to paddle or towing him. He would have a blast. So glad you mentioned that!

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  10. Yay vacation! Sounds fabulous! You can kayak on the Chicago River and it's a big thing on my bucket list. I feel like it would be the coolest way to see the city! My sister and I tried it in New Zealand and I'll never forget it - a baby seal popped up near us!

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  11. My brother loves to kayak and he and his wife each have one now. But I've never tried it for some of the same reasons you hadn't. Those, and the idea that if I fell over, there's no way this fat ass of mine would be able to crawl back in. But, as usual, you've inspired me to give it a try!

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  12. It sounds like you had a lovely trip! Kayaking is one of my absolute favorite things. It's so peaceful and quiet to be out paddling on the water. But I don't think I'd be okay with kayaking through a gator's home. Nope!

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