So, it is that time of the year again. Karen and I plan to head out to the Ohio River on May 10th, putting Wonder, our canoe, in on Sunday, May 11th. I noted to Karen in a recent phone call that we are either getting lazy or so good at this that we don’t spend a lot of time planning. We pretty much know what we eat along the way. I have already purchased some interesting sounding dehydrated dinners. We know, from experience, that there is always somewhere to pitch a tent: in a front year of an hospitable new friend or in the back yard of a boat club. Always, always, we know that we will find friends and the kindness of strangers along the way. It is humbling. And we know that we will eventually find a place to wash and use a toilet…though sometimes it takes longer than others to find said places.
So, we have only spoken two or three times since deciding what the dates of the trip would be this year. We don’t yet have our plans in place for how we are dealing with the putting in and the getting out a week later but we have a sketch in our minds of how it will work. Besides the astronaut food, I have just purchased a new life preserver (haven’t told Karen until just now!) compliments of long time family friends Jim and Betty Grant for my 58 birthday which was two weeks ago. Speaking of age, yes, it feels like the body has to work more and more to stay fit and not to ache after every activity. I have been working out at the gym since January, walking/running on the treadmill, rowing on the rowing machine, lifting weights, stretching, etc, but still I cannot say that my body does not get sore every time. Then there are the hours upon hours that I have done construction/demo work on Chelsea and Brent’s 200 plus year old new home in Vermont. 8-10 hours of paddling on the river? God help us that the head winds are not as bad as last year when, on our final day, we could paddle no faster than one mile an hour. THAT was not fun.
Well, it is late in the evening and I have to take my weary body to bed. But I will amuse what readers I may have with the attached photo of me in my new “personal floatation device” which guarantees that it will not hold my head out of the water should I become unconscious or on rough waters. Did I already say: God help us. Anyway, on that amusing side, here’s the question: Do I look more like a pregnant 58 year old or a paratrooper 58 year old in my new PFD?
Have fun with that…and please follow us again this year from May 10-17 as we pass the halfway mark on the mighty Ohio River in our 13th year of paddling and friendship. Karen, I can’t wait to see you again!
PS: That’s the reflective tape glowing that will help them find me when I am floating down the river in the dark, trying to keep my head above water.
PPS: Did anyone else NOT know that they now make women shaped life preservers? “Made to support a woman!” News to me.