Saturday, August 1, 2009

How it All Started -- Perch Creek - 2005

Our first experience with kayaks was after our oldest daughter purchased hers. We headed to the south part of the county looking of a small, quiet -- hopefully isolated -- body of water in which to practice getting into, and out of, her kayak.

We each took a turn, sharing the kayak, paddle and life jacket. Although we only paddled a little way down the stream, which we now know to be Perch Creek, we knew for certain this was an activity we would enjoy and wanted to pursue.

A year later we purchased three kayaks. Our youngest daughter insisted that we have a name for each. The dark green one, Glen's, was the Emerald Rainbow - because of the emerald rainbow around the Throne of God. The red one, mine, became the Ruby Slipper, after Dorothy's ruby slippers. Our daughter named her "Mystic Blue" kayak Bonnie Blue, a reference to Gone With The Wind.

For the maiden voyages of our three kayaks, we returned to the only waterway we were at all familiar with, Perch Creek. Before we went out, we had fun purchasing all the equipment we needed: cooler, hats, floatation devices, whistles, compass (just how do you use that again?), water shoes, and more things that I can't even remember. We loaded it all in the truck and headed south.

We had little trouble launching our kayaks from the slope of the creek and before we knew it, we were off. From the very beginning, I was impressed by how quiet it was on the water. Except for the gentle splash of the paddles and the cries of birds and insects, there was very little noise, even though we were close to a major and heavily traveled road.

Watching the reflections of the water, the green of the surrounding backs and the beauty of occasional water flowers float past, was more relaxing and refreshing that I could have possibly imagined. One of the things I liked most about it was that there was nothing else that could be done while kayaking. No lists, no writing, no sewing, no planning. I even found it difficult to take pictures since the kayak kept moving even after I stopped paddling.

We paddled to the end of the straight area and had to choose to go right or left. We went left and found several areas that circled around each other. It was so much fun to explore and decided on a whim which way to go. At the end we came to a road crossing the creek. The water was too high for us to cross under, so we headed back to where we started. Along the way we had a race which our daughter won with almost no competition.

It was with regret I steered my kayak onto the shore and we headed home. Once home and the kayaks were washed, dried and stored away for another day's paddling, like a promise waiting to be kept, an invitation waiting to be fulfilled.

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