Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reports from Mars

Now for my version...

After I had a successful Kayak trip to the Old North Bridge with the guys from church Kristi mentioned she loved canoeing. She reminded me she had taken a class in college about canoeing (sounds like a tough curriculum I know) and she thought the kids might enjoy it with the family. My first thought was - no we'll all end up in the water. Our kids don't sit still. Canoes tip over - we all end up wet, Lucy can't swim, are you serious? Time goes by - weeks - nothing happens. Then she mentions canoeing again, I remind her that Lucy can't swim and we'd all end up wet. She doesn't agree but in the response I don't hear her say let's go rent a canoe, just the longing of her younger days when she could be adventurous. Time goes by. One weekend a neighbor takes his family canoeing.

Kristi gives me the look.

OK now I know she is serious and wants to go out.

I ask her to get the details of the place the neighbors rented and suggest we could do it this week when the girls are at camp and the 4 remaining titanfans could go out in one watercraft.

I take off early and we make it to the rental place at about 430 in the afternoon. We complete the paperwork to rent the canoe, get the kids secured into safety equipment and a some pads to sit on. No problem. As we leave the dock I verify with the deckboy - which way to the North Bridge? Because that is what I thought we were here for - a nice afternoon trip to the bridge. Similar to the experience I had before (but much shorter since this place is only 1.5 miles from the bridge and the men's group had almost 3 times that distance). He points the same direction we are going and says it's about a 1.5 hour round trip. That cues me to ask what time they close. 6 he says. Although posted closing time was 1 hour prior to dusk - so I knew it was not exact. I'm still heading for the north bridge. No words from the front of the boat about not wanting to press on.

Eventually Cory wants a turn rowing. Kristi gives him her paddle. I keep pressing on. Kristi and I struggle to keep the canoe going straight down river but it's ok we are just out for the North Bridge. I continue to paddle at a moderate pace, we do need to get back prior to close. I think his estimate of 1.5 is lowest common denominator and we will easily beat it since we are constantly rowing. We get most of the way to the Bridge and then Kristi mentions for the first time that she didn't want to go to the bridge or row seriously or anything like that.

Great. Now we are more than 3/4 the way there. What am I to do? The head of the challenge ministry can't turn back. I can't log a DNF (for all you geocachers), I can't not charge into the endzone...

I express my sadness, but keep pressing to the GOAL! Remember I said we were flowing downstream on the first leg - I knew that would cause trouble on the way back, but the current was not that strong and figured we could still easily return by 6 - closing. We loop around the Old North Bridge, hear the National Park tour guide mention to a group "what a perfect day to be on the river!" as we pass under the bridge without another boater in sight. Kristi waves to someone she knows, we shoot some pics...and turn back upstream.

As we progress, Cory wants more time with the paddle. We tell him we kind of need to row. But he's not deterred in asking. We finally establish that after the last of 4 bridges and the rental dock would be in sight - he could row all he wanted.

We see plenty of wildlife, birds, turtles, fish, beavers and the like. Lucy and Cory seemed to have a good time. I've had a great time and feel the sense of accomplishment. Kristi mentions she might be sore the next day.

Just another great example in how sometimes despite our best efforts we just talk right past each other. It's okay though because I'm the luckiest man in the world being married to the most beautiful person I know!!

Gotta run, I hear the conductor calling. It's time for my shuttle back to Mars.

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