Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Good Paddling

Still needing those "sun gloves"...I've given up on sunscreen and just stay plain covered. Me in the polka dot hat, Tom in the driver's seat, behind, in our blue canoe. All our gear for the weekend in small barrels. We packed, and ate, light, for once!

This weekend we went on a canoe paddling trip with 16 other people from Tom's hiking group on the the Goulburn river, from Seymour to Nagambie. It was only about an hour from Melbourne where we met picked up our canoes. We paddled down river for about 6 hours on Saturday, stopping briefly for lunch and to wring out a few folks who capsized. They weren't worried about their wet clothes and we pitched in extra sleeping gear and food, but the ruined phones and cameras were a bit sad. Today we paddled only three hours and landed at a winery/cafe, just in time...we were tired and ready to be done...It only took half an hour by bus to get back to our cars at Seymour, though it took us 9 hours of paddling the other way! Guess there were a lot of winding bends in the river!

We reckon we made it at least as twice as far by tacking back and forth across the river with our novice canoeing skills. Being the boating genius I am (I used to be big into sailing in Portland), I kept "whinging" (whining) to Tom for not steering us properly. Being the kind teacher he is, he offered to let me sit in the driver's seat (though he does have a whole 30 pounds on me and the "bigger of the two is supposed to sit in back"). It was less than five minutes of us spinning in crazy, undirected circles before I conceded. He asked if I might now give him "5% less guff" about his steering, which (hopefully he realized), I was glad to give up. Nothing like a little perspective to sush up a complainer, really. :)

If anyone ever wants to write a metaphor about teamwork, timing, working together, etc. as it relates to canoeing, it's all there for the taking ... not as easy as it looks, for sure. I think I also did a mild amount of nagging about sunscreen, which fell on deaf (and now somewhat red) ears. But did you know that sunscreen is really pretty carcinogenic itself?

The views were gorgeous. We spotted several koala's in the trees along the way. Some might even say my koala watching distracted me from my paddling and it could be true! :)
Last week, Tom went on a 20 kilometer hike with some of the same folks. He says canoeing is like "hiking, but with your hands" and also wondered a few times if we could "swim there any faster than we're rowing". You reckon?

We're soaking in baths now, layering ourselves in bug bite cream and Aloe Vera, and trying to get re-hydrated. Even simple pleasures like a soft bed and a hot meal are more treasured than ever.

I saw two lizards, a snake whizzed right past our tent, and a new friend, Bree, said she was covered in poisonous huntsman spiders and cockroaches all night, and I didn't really freak out at all. I do want to buy a 4" deep princess-and-the-pea-style sleeping mat and blister-preventing gloves for the next trip though. That, and maybe get the kind of canoe that has a professional rower / tour guide on it, where I can sit back and just take in the scenery.

1 comment:

  1. Kitty, this trip looks ah-mazingly peaceful & beautiful.
    I can't believe how beautiful a lake can look, your camera is maybe my new lover. i'm not sure!