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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Kayakin' Ain't Ridin', but it's Fun!!!!

The heat wave that's overwhelmed the mid-Atlantic states got the best of us, and even Linda and Charlie took a break from house-building. Linda came up with the idea of hitting the Shenandoah River for a little kayaking, which sounded like a damn good idea to me!

Linda and Charlie invited me up to their mountain in Rileyville, VA, where they have cabins for rent*, which are just awesome. One cabin is just steps from the river, while others offer a view of the Shenandoah Valley that just can't be beat. I drove up Saturday morning, hauling one of my recreational kayaks, which is perfect for a river when it's "boney". (that means low water in kayaker lingo)

I met Ashley, Caroline, Dave, Linda, and Charlie at their new home and off we went to the river. The water was even lower than expected, but the scorching temperatures drove us in to find whatever relief was available from the 104+ temps.

Now this was actually only the first or second time out in a kayak for our paddling beauties, Caroline and Linda, but they both took off like pros, not waiting for the grubby, sweaty guys. But soon we were all out on the river and having a great time. If you haven't tried kayaking, you're missing something!

We had plenty of time for fun on the way downriver, even spotting a bald eagle having lunch on the bank of e river. What an awesome sight, and this made the entire trip worthwhile.

And then we had more fun, finding an island in the middle of the river that offered a great spot to take another break.

It's also worth mentioning that, on a whim, I turned on my cell phone and was amazed that 1) there was any service available, and 2) that I was actually able to "check in" on Facebook from the middle of a river in the middle of fucking nowhere. Charlie was ragging on me as I waded out into the middle, cell phone held high, trying to get a little better connection. I can be such an idiot........

BUT! I was outdone, and if you don't count the eagle-sighting, the day's highlight was unquestionably Ashley stalking a young deer at the river's edge. Ash-man began crawling across the river and finally...well he sorta just rolled and wallowed closer and closer, not unlike a walrus! And the "walrus" observation was made by Charlie, his dad!! (I ain't taking credit for calling Ashley a walrus.) Finally, when he was almost eyeball to asshole (the deer's) the little guy took off.

All this was dutifully recorded on Ashley's iPhone by Dave, who we're sure burned up every byte of free memory the phone had, recording long after the deer disappeared into the woods. Stay tuned for the YouTube follow-up! LOL

And finally we had to call it a day. What a great time, and a great bunch of people to spend the day with. Next stop for some of us: Sturgis, South Dakota! We can't wait. Life is good.

PS - It's now T-19 and counting. 19 days until I roll out of Alexandria, heading for Sturgis.

If you look way, way out in the distance in this photo you'll see another kayak. That's Linda leaving us all behind....


* If you're interested in cabin rental in the Luray, Virginia area, email Cowboy and he can put you in touch with Linda.