Adventures in Canoeing

Adventures in Canoeing

By Contributor

Well, we sank the canoe. No, not capsized. Sank.

But before I explain, let me bring you up to date. For the past few months, I’ve been blogging my various fitness adventures as I attempted to get in shape for a 10-day canoe trip. The trip actually counted as college credit; along with some essays, a journal, and a lecture, it formed the capstone class for one of the more unusual majors at my university. However, all majors can take the class, so I was just along for the ride.

There were 10 students and 2 professors. Each of us was assigned a canoe partner with whom we would work to paddle over 100 miles downriver. Well, that was the idea, anyway.

My partner, "Greg," and I had seen each other around before this trip, but we didn’t really know each other. So I wasn’t sure what to expect when I found out that we would be spending days confined to a small aquatic vessel (which Greg referred to as “the good ship Moriarty”) together.

Things went okay for the first few days, with the exception of us getting rather lost on the day we were assigned to navigate. I mean, we eventually found the place where we were supposed to camp. Thankfully the river only flows one way.

Then, on day 4, as we were paddling downriver, Greg suddenly decided it would be a good idea to get out of the canoe. What can I say? The guy really likes water. Or maybe he just wanted to pull over to the bank to use the bathroom. Anyway, I leaned to one side, thinking to counterbalance his weight as he got out on the other. Unfortunately, he got out on the same side to which I was leaning, and so into the water he went as the boat listed irreparably to the right.

In a split second’s decision, knowing that the boat would capsize if I didn’t do something, I bailed out as well. The canoe righted itself, but too late—it was full almost to the brim with river water. Luckily, all our stuff was tied down in waterproof bags.

At this point I was just sort of shaking my head and questioning some life decisions as I dragged the canoe up onto the bank. There wasn’t a large enough beach to get the boat completely out of the water, but I did get it far enough so that I could hold it to prevent it being swept away by the current as Greg, half incapacitated with laughter, used the large hat that usually protected him from the sun to scoop the water out of the canoe. Slowly, it regained buoyancy, sitting at a better level in the water as it retreated from the watery depths.

Soaked from my encounter with the river, I clambered back into the canoe and pushed off, continuing downstream.

On the upside, the rest of the trip continued for the most part without incident. Well, save for being caught in a 50 mph windstorm, being blown out to the middle of the river, and almost capsizing when we turned sideways in the waves. But hey, that time we at least managed to stay in the boat.

In all sincerity, though, it was a great trip. There were good times with people new and old, a healthy amount of hiking, and even some Native American ruins to provide an air of mystery. I sure am glad I worked out before the trip though, or I would have been dying. Turns out, canoeing requires a lot of ab-related effort. Of course, I look like this now, so no worries.

Perhaps most shocking of all, however, is that my usual pallor has given way to a slight tan on my arms and legs. It’s almost as if I didn’t live in the internet... almost.

Have a wonderful summer, Sparklers! Or winter, depending on your hemisphere of choice.

—TravelWriter21

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Topics: sparkler posts, fitness, traveling, canoeing, travelwriter21, adventures in fitness

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