Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Can you canoe?

I am kvelling! My sweet thang of a husband bought me a canoe yesterday! It's a Wenonah Adirondack in spruce green.

I went to Canoesport in Houston to pick it up and they fitted a rack to the top of the Dodge and we were ready to go! It was weird driving with the front hanging over the windshield but I could still see just fine.

On the way home I called Chuck to tell him to get ready because we were going for a paddle....even though it was getting pretty late.

We decided to put in at 1776 Park in Friendswood off of FM 2351 to paddle Clear Creek for a little bit. Chuck and I scouted a good launch site before taking the mini boat off the truck. We found a spot that we thought we could handle.

Took the canoe off the truck, portaged down to the creek and put her in. I got in first accompanied by a lot of shaking and mini screams all coming from me. It's hard to get used to that initial instability plus it looked as if I were going nose first into a scary looking creek. You never know what's lurking under those waters! Chuck crawled in and pushed us off and after a lot of shaking to get our balance and a few mini screams from me we were off!

At first you are running right beside the road so there is a lot of traffic noise. Then the creeks meanders off in its own direction and there are sections with houses set off the creek and other sections bordered by a park and other sections of pristine fluvial wilderness. The trees make canopies over the water and provide shade and a lot to look at. The banks were covered in beautiful vegetation.

We saw a lot of swirls in the water which we convinced ourselves were just fish. A few time bubbles would start rising to the top in a trail as some unknown critter was moving along the bottom as we approached. A turtle perhaps? Surely not an alligator. There was also a catfish near the bank doing something: either scratching himself or trying to get at a munchy.

Once we were travelling around a bend and relaxing and admiring the view when a bullfrog jumped in the water with a splash and a croak and scared the devil out of us. So now we are devil free! After I swallowed my heart back down we laughed and paddled on. There was a clump of forgotten bamboo from a long gone home that made a beautiful canopy over the water.

After a while Chuck wisely said we should turn around and start heading back. My first instinct was to argue and ask for a little more paddle time but the sun (or lack thereof) convinced me that he was right. Have you noticed that when the sun starts to set that it sets FAST!? Our paddle changed from leisurely to full of purpose and vigor. The sun was setting and there was no way I was spending the night on this creek.

We made it back just as it was almost dark. I got out first and started slipping immediately in thick clay mud. Not good on Crocs shoes. I got out, pulled Chuck up while ignoring the spiders jumping and dancing across my feet and arms (normally this would send me into orbit). Chuck grabbed the front of the boat and I grabbed the back and started heading up hill to the waiting truck. Fortunately Chuck's back was turned to me when I slipped and fell on my face because of the layer of before mentioned mud in my shoes.

We got the canoe loaded (by "we" I mean Chuck) on top and headed for home smelly, hot, tired and thirsty and yet strangely invigorated. Got the canoe home and washed her off and got her in the garage taking the place of the miniature van.

It was a great little first outing and I can't wait to go back out! Why no pictures you ask? I wasn't sure if we would make a spectacular splash on our first trip and I didn't want any evidence of that! But it all worked out just fine. Looking forward to more!

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