Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kayaking: the unintentional workout.

I accomplished another item off my 30-by-30 list and unofficial, and mostly undocumented, things-to-do-before-I-leave-DC list this past holiday weekend: kayaking in the Potomac and not growing an additional appendage. The last part wasn't really on the list, but is a valid concern.

Zach convinced me to get up at seven on a Saturday morning (he made eggs, the only thing that will get me out of bed at seven on a Saturday). This sounds like a day destined for exhaustive torture, but I slathered on the sunscreen and marched off to the Vibester (that's my car, a Pontiac Vibe) for my weekly test at how my driving skills have deteriorated. Really, I love that I can walk most places and have lost so much dependence on my car, but my skills may be starting to show it. After an illegal right turn, we were at Fletcher's Boathouse

Zach's done this before, and as I'm not a fan of watching movies with people that have seen the movie before, I decided we should not go on the same kayaking path that Zach did before. Follow that logic? So we went left down the Potomac, toward the National Mall and with the goal of gliding effortlessly pass the monuments and simultaneously basking in the glory that is DC and making tourists jealous.

In reality, we only made it to the Key Bridge, about two miles short of Lincoln. After the 2.5 miles to get to the bridge, we were tired, getting beat on by the sun, and hungry because I forgot my mid-morning Cheerios snack. I had expected kayaking to be an easy glide, as it was the one other time when I did it on a calm lake in Michigan, but we were pushing with our arms, abs, and legs to move down the river. I'm convinced we were going against the current, but that doesn't work with science, so I'm not sure. Regardless, we settled for spotting the peak of the Washington monument, and trusted that enough tourists saw us from Georgetown to be jealous. Probably.

We saw lots of wildlife while on our self-propelled cruise. We saw a bird swimming totally underwater, with just its head poking out; the same bird dive under for a very long time, only to surface with a catfish flapping in his beak; deer along the bank; live fish jumping in the water; and dead fish floating.  

With water the same color as the foliage, I'd say it's safe to celebrate escaping with only a sinus infection. Which, honestly, isn't just to Potomac's fault, if I'm to be fair. It's all of DC's fault, and particularly, George Washington's fault. Why he picked the capital to be on the swamp land is maybe his only mistake, but I'm still paying for it. Dramatic?

Next up: the three rivers. We both decided that kayaking in them would be more rewarding on the cityscape almost instantaneously. DC was definitely rewarding on the nature aspect, and the vitamin D. 

I'm marking it done on my list, though. I'm halfway to 30, with many big expenses in the next year and many big trips to finish on this list. The outlook's shaky.

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