Kayaking

Perfect Paddle in Pohick

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Today is an absolutely beautiful day. After my run this morning I was energized and ready to do some kayaking. We threw the boats on top of my car and headed out to Pohick Bay. The water was a little bit choppy which I really enjoy.

There was some boat traffic which meant I got to do some wake kayaking. I absolutely love paddling straight towards the waves. I'm sure the boaters think we are crazy when we start paddling towards them but the leaves they wave are fun to ride.

We paddled out pretty hard for about 2 miles. I saw a buoy and decided I had to paddle to it. So we did.

And then we took our time going back. The water seemed rougher going back and the wind picked up which made the water choppier.

We saw a bunch of eagles. They were talking to each other. I'm not much of a bird watcher but eagle are just beautiful. One had grabbed a fish and I was watching it soar through the air holding the fish. We even saw a nest with some babies.

As we made our way back to the beach where we put in we floated around for a while just enjoying our time on the water.

Run + Whitewater Kayak + Yard Work

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I started yesterday off with a little run. I'm running by myself for these Saturday long runs. But that's ok. I can do it! It was cloudy and relatively cool yesterday. It was insanely humid though. Everything was still wet from rain overnight. I ran a pretty typical route since I didn't have to worry about the sun. I ran 3.77 miles and sustained a pace a bit faster than I have been running.

After running we decided to head to the river for a little whitewater kayaking. We went to Violette's Lock. The water gauge was pretty low – right around 2.8. This makes the rapids pretty easy but still fun to play in. The put in location is in Maryland on the far side of the river from the rapids. The river is almost half a mile wide so the run starts with a long paddle across the river. Then you head into the rapids area. As soon as you head towards the chutes the water starts flowing and you can let the river carry you.

The rapids were pretty fun. I was bouncing around quite a bit in some sections. There are a couple of dropoffs but given how low the river was nothing seemed very big.

After running through the rapids we headed back across the river through a rock garden. On the first round I managed to get stuck on top of a rock which was pretty funny. Once we made it across the river we pulled out and carried the yaks across the C&O Canal Tow Path and put in to Canal. We paddled back to the lock where we pulled out and carried the boats back to the starting point.

And then we did it all over again! So we did the rapids twice…of course that means we did the paddle in the canal twice too. Overall it was lot of fun and a lot different than what we have been paddling lately.

After kayaking it was time to head home and stop playing and get some work done. We are in the process of taking down a dead tree, setting up some shade for the deck, and weeding our neglected gardens.

Memorial Day Yaking

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We've been lucky. The weather has been amazing this weekend. Hot and humid but beautiful and sunny. In honor of Memorial Day we threw the kayaks on the Jeep and went to a nearby Army base. We paddled for about 2 hours. It was wonderful. I love being out on the water.

We paddled over to a quieter section of the water and saw some eagles. Unfortunately the first time we got close the momma eagle flew away. We could tell she was in protection mode though because she never went far from the nest.

On the way back we paddled towards where some of the bigger boats were hanging out. We found some wake to play in. Playing in wake is not recommended unless you know what you are doing. I've done it enough times to feel comfortable. I rode the waves pretty well except for one….one crashed over the front of my boat and I took a bath. But it didn't bother me at all. The water felt great and that's certainly the risk you take when playing in waves. After having fun there we paddled back to the shore.

We had a nice picnic lunch before putting the boats back on the car. It was nice to just eat a relaxed lunch and not feel like we had to rush off.

Beautiful day on the river

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After finishing distributing the mulch to all of the gardens in our yard we decided to go paddling. It was an absolutely beautiful day for it. Here is a picture of the view from the boats.

We went to the Occoquan River. While there are motor boats it's generally peaceful. There is a marina at the put in spot and many people rent boats but they tend to stay close the marina. We paddled upstream for close to an hour. In some spots we could look around and not really see too many other people. The river is pretty wide. The water was calm and we could barely feel the current which meant paddling upstream was easy….it also meant that paddling back downstream wasn't the free ride that I was hoping for.

It was an absolutely wonderful trip. I'm hoping to hit all of my favorite kayaking spots this summer. I need to start doing some more serious paddling because there is a race that I want to try. It's a biathlon – kayaking and running. The running part will be easy for me because it's only a 5k but it starts with a 1 mile paddle. 1 mile really isn't far and I know I could do it but I still think I should prepare and focus on steady paddling. I tend to paddle for a little bit and then float around. Sometimes kayaking is just a relaxing float in the water.

Here are some more pictures from today. I'm looking forward to many more days like this during the summer.

Yaking in January!

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Another warm beautiful January day ….which led me to the water. First time kayaking this year. I normally don't get to say that in January. We finally got to try out our spray skirts. The water was freezing ….literally in some spots, but the spray skirt kept me dry and warm.

We went to the reservoir about 30 minutes from our house. Not too many people were out there today. Some kids on the dock and one other boater showed up while we were paddling.

I started off in one direction with the intent of paddling to the end. We were paddling for a while when we heard a weird crunching noise and realized we had just paddled into ice. Here are some pictures of the ice.

We decided that it really wasn't safe to continue further into the ice so we turned around and paddled a little bit past where we had started. We were out for about an hour. Here are some more pictures.