When worlds collide.

Wow! Two of my worlds collided today on a work kayak/canoe outing. When the invitation came out a month or so ago, I didn’t accept immediately. My team really is a bit like cats. We are the so-called geriatric team and we don’t tend to socialize in the way that a 20-something work team might. We are geeks and when we are not at work, we want to be home with our families, getting our chores done or pursuing our other interests. We don’t need to “bond” in order to learn to treat each other with respect. We learned that lesson early in our careers. So. I own kayaks, so I can kayak pretty much any time I want, logistics and weather permitting. I could participate in the outing or not. Whatever.

But then. My cube neighbor yelled over the wall, “Hey KW, are you going on that kayak trip?” I replied, “I will if you want me to!” And she did. She lives on one of the small lakes out in the county and she was interested in trying out a kayak. I know that kayaks can be an intimidating idea if you’ve never tried one. I remember when The Engineer brought that first yellow Walden Vista to the moominbeach. I was flabbergasted! I had seen NPJane do the Eskimo Roll in her white-water kayak. Yiiy! I was terrified to try kayaking — and didn’t for at least a year. When I finally did try, I couldn’t believe I had waited so long. It was my kind of boat. Stable and low in the water and easy to maneuver.

I love my cube neighbor. After three years at this job, I still regard her as a valuable mentor. She wanted someone with experience to be with her for her first kayak trip and I welcomed the chance to mentor her in that small way. Not that she needed it.

As I suspected, my cube neighbor turned out to be a natural at kayaking! It was a pretty short ride altogether, about an hour or so. We were dropped off just below the Broadway Bridge and paddled back down to Gallup Park. While we were waiting to board our buses up to the drop-off, one young whippersnapper was asking about the depth of the river. I haven’t actually kayaked that stretch of the river before but then my brain dredged up a vague memory of *walking* that stretch of river, or part of it, once back in the dark ages. The whippersnapper was amazed! “You WALKED? You walked IN THE RIVER?” Well, yes. He couldn’t get over that. I told him that beer might well have been involved but I don’t really remember if it was…

Anyway, this was an absolutely gorgeous day to kayak and I had a wonderful time, even when I had to scooch myself off of rocks or even get out of my boat to move it from one inch of water to six inches of water. And even though my butt was totally wet by the end of it and didn’t dry out for a couple hours. I mean wet by water and not by you-know-what-that-begins-with-p. Other people were complaining about how wet they were but I enjoyed every minute of it. Today was a beautiful kayaking day and I was with friends and getting wet is part of it all.

5 Responses to “When worlds collide.”

  1. Tonya Says:

    Sounds like a total, 100% blast. What a great thing to do on a beautiful work-day afternoon!

  2. Jay Says:

    We used to walk in the river there, during the low season. Searched for golf balls in the part that borders the golf course, and “body surfed” feet first if inner tubes were not available. Oh – and we canoed there a time or two as well, although I remember more canoeing upstream toward Dexter.

  3. Jay Says:

    Oops- wrong park – I was at the Riverside/Island/Fuller part of the park – not Gallup.

  4. Margaret Says:

    It sounds utterly lovely!! I love special days like this when everything seems to work out–weather, activity, company. My husband and I are considering getting a canoe.

  5. kayak woman Says:

    Jay, we passed Riverside, Island, and Fuller (put in by the Broadway Bridge). Very shallow in those areas. Deeper down toward Gallup. So your memories are pretty accurate 🙂