Monday, April 12, 2010

This Year's First Kayaking Trip

On Wednesday I took a vacation day to get out on the water. It was a hot sunny day, perfect to spend at Pohick Bay. I put into the lake quickly and as soon as I left the bank I felt every muscle in my body loosen. With my feet trailing in the cool water, I paddled slowly into the wilderness and left chaos behind. All sounds of civilization dwindled and all I could hear was birdsong and fish jumping out of the water.
 Withing 15 minutes I had seen two bald eagles flying above me and an immature sitting in a tree. Then as my eyes dropped back down, a beaver swam slowly by, his glistening nose and wet whiskers poking out with a beady eye watching me. 
The lily pads had not grown much, it was so early in the year, and I didn't have to take the usual winding route to my favorite spot. The tide was also out and some areas of the lake were very shallow but the water was crystal clear with hundreds of baby fish darting back and forth.
I got to my beach and pulled the boat up onto the shore. The sand was soft and warm with clear footprints from a recent visitor, a beaver? A small clump of bluebells gently bobbed next to me. I spread out my towel, flopped down to sunbath and read, but then decided that a snooze was in order first. It was paradise laying there listening to the fish jumping while feeling the breeze softly stroking my back. The sun was hot so every half hour or so, I would wade into the water and swim, watching the reflections bounce off the sand at the bottom of the creek.
Alas too soon, I had to think about slowly heading back. I'd had a couple of hours on the beach but had realized that the tide was coming in and my dry sand was fast becoming damp.
 I paddled back having to work a little harder against the tide but still managing not to exert myself too much.
I liked the way these bull rushes glistened with the sun behind them.
 An angry goose warned me away from the bank; I think nest building was in progress.
 I also saw this osprey sitting in a tree...
 ...and immediately afterwards, a blue heron. I eventually got back to the car, slowly loaded the kayak onto my roof and drove home. I had managed to get sunburned but wasn't really concerned. I felt so relaxed and didn't want the day to end, so called Steve to see if he fancied having a picnic in Bull Run Park. Within 2 hours and after a quick detour to Trader Joe's, we were sitting by the river with more bluebells, phones turned off and no cameras, watching the sun go down.
What an impeccable day.

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