Four years ago I could have counted 5 or 6 kayaks in my garage. I had a couple of touring kayaks, one or two recreational boats and some surf kayaks and even a canoe. I didn’t have nearly enough time to use them all, although I tried. It was a time that I lived closer to Lake Michigan, 2.4 miles to be exact, and surrounded by numerous other inland lakes. I also had a great system of strapping any one of my boats to the top of the car and I could be on the water in less than a half an hour. Those were the days. Then I had no boats!!
That’s right I went from a half-dozen boats to zero in a matter of a few months. I still question my decision to get rid of them, at least all of them. I’d like to be able so say my wife made me do it, but that’s not true at all. Now she did question why I needed so many and at times she tired of tripping over them in the garage, but she never wanted me to sell them all. I made that decision on my own and I’m still kicking myself for it. I guess it was because I lost my job, sold the house, rented for a while, then bought another house and found a new job. During the course of all this change, I wasn’t getting much use out of them and It was just another thing I had to move around. I made the decision one day to just get rid of them all and when the time was right I’d buy one or two more. The day never came that I bought new boats but I lucked out and I was given one. I work with a guy who’s a landlord and one of his tenants moved out and left his boat project in the apartment. It’s a wooden vessel and it was 95% complete. At first glance, one might not appreciate the looks of it or the time that was put into it, but to me though it was perfect.
The boat didn’t have a finish put on it so I bought a can of spar varnish and gave it two coats. I was ready to sail. Fortunately, I kept a paddle, a life vest and the straps for lashing it to the car. My first trip was on the Grand River at Grand Valley State University. I knew it was going to float I just wasn’t sure if it would leak or not. My plan was to stash it in the woods so I could use in on my “wildfit course” that I have behind the University. I could incorporate a paddle down the river into my future workout adventures on the trails. It took me 45 minutes to paddle upstream to the South End of the trail system and I can say it not only floats it doesn’t leak a drop and it tracks straight as an arrow. Not too shabby for the ten bucks I paid for the varnish. I was really starting to like this boat.
It was a really nice evening on the river with plenty of wildlife and no other people. As I was paddling along, I noticed some fishing bobbers near the shore. For as many years as I’ve been paddling, I think I’ve found a hundred bobbers and lures on the rivers and lakes. This day was no different. In fact, one of the bobbers that I found had a few feet of line and a lure attached to it. I needed a new lure and bobber so I picked it out of the water and put in the boat. I continued on my way. As I approached my landing point on the trail I noticed some fish jumping here and there. This gave me an idea that maybe I could catch a fish with that new lure I had. I tossed out all 4 feet of line with the lure and bobber on it and as soon as it hit the water a fish took it under. I really didn’t think I’d catch one at all let alone that fast. I brought it in the boat and snapped a picture of it. I threw the fish back and ended up catching 2 more. Perfect addition to my adventure. The sun was starting to set so I pulled in my line and pulled onto shore.
I pulled onto the shore and looked for a good place to stash the boat. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it out on the trails but I figured it should be safe for a while and next time I run the trails I might paddle it upstream to another set of trails I know of . I took my paddle and life vest and ran 3 miles back to the car. What an awesome adventure it turned out to be and all within 2 hours. What was your adventure on the water today?