I was supposed to go for a bike ride on Sunday afternoon. It certainly was a nice day for it, with a warm sun that made it not too hot and not too cool either. There was a bit of a breeze in the mid day air, but it wasn't bothersome. When I reached the house however, I had a change of heart. I still planned to ride, but instead of a trip on a bike, it would be out on the lake, on a paddle board. I first tried paddle boarding last summer and I was immediately hooked. There's something peaceful about being out on the water, the rhythm of sliding slowly along the water, the gentle lift and stroke of the paddle sliding down the side of the board, before rising from the water and stretching forward again.
So early last month we ordered a couple of boards with visions of a long summer spent out on the water.
This afternoon, my daughters and I decided to make the trip out to the local reservoir. While the day was pleasant, the water wasn't quite there yet. I'd called out to the reservoir earlier in the day and they'd reported that the estimated water temperature was in the mid 40's. I would guess that it was closer to the lower 50's but still nothing you'd want to spend a lot of time in. To be safe, we all brought a big blanket and some extra clothes. That way if one of us did accidentally take a dip, we'd have a way to warm up quickly.
|Just waiting for a turn!|
|The view from our launch point!|
The first step for our trip was to get the two Isle Soft Serve Paddle Boards mounted to the roof of the car. While this wasn't difficult, it did have me a bit worried as I didn't want to be driving down the highway and have one or both of the 11 foot boards come sliding off of the roof and onto the road. A few years back, I had my road bike lift off of the back of the car and fall onto the road, and while the bike suffered minimal damage (and no cars were hurt either), it was a stressful experience that didn't warrant repeating. I managed to strap the two boards onto the roof and while they felt fairly secure, I decided that we would go slow and check them frequently along the way out to the lake. That turned out to be a good idea. Within a mile of the house, they started coming loose and so we wound up sticking one through the back hatch, and securing just one to the roof. This seemed to work much better.
After what seemed like forever, we arrived at the reservoir, purchased our annual pass (we know we'll be visiting a lot) and headed down to the shore line. With two boards and three people, it meant that we'd be taking turns a bit. It's always a good idea to have a few camp chairs and other distractions while one is waiting on shore. I took the first trial run on the board, wanting to be sure that the cold water wouldn't be too problematic for us and while definitely cold, it wasn't completely unbearable as long as you weren't completely wet. Since it had been about 8 months since the last time I was on a board, I took my time standing up and just paddled for a bit in a kayak (sitting) position.
|Life jacket adjustments prior to launch!|
Over the next couple of hours we did some gentle paddling in a small cove of the main reservoir. There were a number of boats out in the main lakes so it was helpful to stay in the small inlet without having to worry about the waves created by the wake of the boats. These waves would make their way towards us from time to time, but by the time they'd reached us, they had dissipated quite a bit.
And just like that, a couple of hours passed in no time. We hauled our stuff back up to the car, reloaded everything, and headed back home. The first of many trips to be sure, I'm already looking forward to the next!
|Ready to go!|