Albany Day Six

10 06 2009

This entire trip has been filled with new things, new adventures, and me discovering how much I love these new things. So why would the last day of my trip be any different?

Before I left for New York, Preston had arranged for us to go kayaking. Never been, better yet never wanted to. Kayaking requires paddling, paddling requires work, work requires me sweating. I’m so pathetically lazy. So when I found out I was leaving a week earlier I was half heartedly happy I missed the kayaking.

For what I missed, Devin and Naomi made sure I made it up 10 folds. Instead of kayaking we went canoeing in Sacadanga Lake. I have never picked up a paddle in my 24 years of life, never sat in a canoe or kayak, and certainly never planned to try. Just never seemed like something I’d enjoy. Mainly because I’ve always had back issues.

But I didn’t want to be a poor sport. I didn’t want to turn down a new opportunity, so I went into it head first and ready to take on whatever may happen.

The canoe was pretty big, it held 3 adults, 2 full grown beagles, and our picnic necessities. So space wasn’t an issue, the issue with me was tipping. Tipping over just sounds so scary, better yet tipping over in the middle of the lake sounds scarier. But I tried to not think of the negatives and focus on the great experience I’ll have.

Taking off wasn’t so bad, it was definitely better than what I pictured in my head. I had quick clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos of people pushing off their canoes and falling in playing in my head. Thankfully none of those happened. It took a while to steady. For each adult to find their balanced center and poor Nai in the middle trying to balance and control two energetic eager beagles in the middle.

Sad to say till I got the hang of it I screamed like a little girl and whimpered. But I overcame that fear, now to only master the paddling .It was weird to get a hang of paddling. Before I knew it I felt like a champ paddler. My paddles were long and deep and I developed my own pace. Thankfully, my back really didn’t bother me. Sitting in the front, paddling, and having the wind brush against my face was so invigorating it was like a freedom I’ve never known. I can totally be a pirate now.

We made our way out in no time, making our first stop on a small island to take a break before I even knew it. Stopping at each island held such a mystery to them. I could totally picture Neverland being one of these islands and coming across the Lost Boys hidden hut. It was as time stood still and the world was at peace. The greenery untouched, the tall tress reaching for the sky, the suns rays breaking through the leaves and lighting some unknown wonders of the forest ahead of you. It was simply breath taking.

Naomi and I needed to reach our picture quota of the day of course. So pictures were to be taken. We even came across our first New York wild life, a pack of ducks. They stayed relatively close to us for photo ops, but far enough that Ceri and Vida didn’t get them.

The ducks also served another purpose other than for our awe. Ceri apparently isn’t a huge water person, she’ll play in it, but won’t really swim. But when she saw those ducks it was as if by the graces of some higher being she determined to get them. She would slowly make her way out to them, swim back to us, swim a little closer to the ducks, and come back to us. Each time she went out to the ducks she got out a little further and further. Before you knew it, she was a pro swimmer and the water was defeated. Sadly, she still get her ducks.

I’m going to make a note here you should remember: at this point Naomi asked me to take one of the dog balls and throw it into the center of the pack so she could get a picture of them running away on the water. Well first of all I’m a bad aim, second when I want to not hit something I usually do, and third just don’t ask me to throw anything I suck. So when I threw the ball it was a direct hit at mama duck. I felt so bad and mama duck was pissed.

We weren’t quite ready to eat yet, so we casted off our 2nd island, which was the biggest island of them all, and decided to paddle all the way around and make a 3rd stop at a tiny island across the way and eat lunch there. Well when we got to the 3rd island it was much too small, and not that nice to eat on.  We decided to return to the 2nd island, the big one, and eat there.

We casted off like normal, paddled like normal, 200 feet out from the shore we tipped like no other. It was out of the blue, completely unexpected. For a brief moment we – Nai and I – panicked, Devin kept his cool, grabbing anything that floated too far, Naomi did her absolute best to keep the dogs close. Had a good scare when Vida was stuck under the canoe, while be clawed at by Ceri because she was trying to stand on her head, and me in complete shock not knowing what to do and in what order. Devin and I tried our best to flip over the canoe, but that somewhat failed. We got it flipped over, but it was still filled with water. We threw the dogs up on top along with anything else we could grab, with the boat still partially underwater all 3 of us pulled and swam to shore. About 100 feet from shore Vida said “Screw This” jumped off and swam for shore. She had the right mentality, “Every man for him/herself” lol. That must have been the hardest 5 minute swim I’ve ever done. I’m totally out of shape.

So that side note you needed to remember? Well during that whole ordeal that same pack of ducks sat about 5 feet from us and I swear they were laughing. Just quacking away knowing we, I deserved it. I brought bad juju upon us. Well mama duck we are even, we are even. I still hold true to the fact they flipped us though.

A bit in shock and our nerves racked, we emptied the water from the canoe, unpacked the picnic backpack, and air out our cameras. Sadly, I don’t think Naomi’s camera made it, I’m sorry hun. I really wanted mine to be broken so I can have an excuse to buy a new one, it’s been two years man. I want a new one.

We rested for a little while, calmed our nerves, but it was inevitable we needed to cast off again to get back to the car. My greatest fear of all this came true, so there was nothing else for me to fear. Well other than tipping again. But I was determined to not let that happened. I paddled as hard and as fast as I could. I swear it felt like we got back faster than we got out there. So I guess it worked.

Even with tipping over and panic attack it really was a lot of fun, and I really would do it again. So lo and behold Preston when we get back home we are definitely going kayaking.

I have this to say though, I couldn’t picture ending my visit with Naomi and Devin any other way. My trip was filled with new experiences, thrilling rides, venturing foreign lands, near death experiences,  many memories, deep conversations, a 1000 miles of roads, laughter and love what else could you ever ask for?

Other than more pictures…….

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