Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kayaking with RT

As most of my friends and family know I love kayaking. I like nothing better than spending hours on the water. And given the chance I will extol the joys of kayaking to anyone who will listen. My college roommate, and good friend, RT has heard much about my kayak trips and more than a year ago we started talking about getting her out on the water. She was having shoulder issues earlier this summer, but they have improved and our schedules finally aligned (despite her partner's broken arm) so this morning instead of heading out to Meeting, I picked RT up and we headed off for a kayak adventure.

For this first trip, we chose to launch from Charles River Canoe & Kayak in Newton. This site offers rentals and is on a gentle portion of the river. CRCK also has rental sites on Lake Cochituate in Natick and on the Charles in Boston. I don't recommend large lakes for a first kayaking experience because of wind induced waves and power boats, and the Charles in Boston tends to have quite a few power boats as well. The stretch of the river in Newton and Waltham is narrow enough to avoid the waves of open lakes and doesn't tend to have many power boats, so it met all the criteria for RT's first kayak paddle. We headed out early to avoid the inevitable crowds on this beautiful, sunny Sunday.

After making sure that RT was being taken care of by the rental staff I headed to the parking/duck feeding/launch area on the opposite shore. Once on the river it took me a couple minutes to find RT. I'd expected her to be hovering on or near the dock, but she had ventured out further to watch a blue heron having breakfast. I was entertained to discover that the rental staff had given her a boat that matched her hat.
RT in Kayak

We headed downriver, which is not my usual choice when doing a loop. Heading upriver first takes you under a number of roads (rt 30, on ramps for the turnpike and 128, the turnpike, and 128) so it takes a while to get to a section where you aren't listening to constant road noise. By heading downriver first we escaped the road noise fairly quickly, and the current on this stretch of the river is fairly minimal. Adding to that this morning was a stiff breeze blowing into our faces which we both decided was better to have at our backs on the way back.

We chatted as we paddled - about paddling, family, friends, and everything under the sun. Our pace was relaxed, a pleasant paddle on a gloriously beautiful day.
river view
If you look closely you'll notice, as we did, that there are signs of fall in the plants at the river's edge.

The river critters were quite active this morning. During our paddle we saw ducks, herons (3 in total), and to RT's delight swans with cygnets. We did resist the urge to sing the ugly duckling, though it was a close call.
ugly ducklings
It was a lovely trip and we will do it again sometime.


Shelley said...

Looks like a lovely trip!

Saw this today and thought of you:

Maria said...

Those are lovely photos, but you couldn't pay me to row a boat....