First Paddle of the Season

Today was the perfect day to take the kayak out for a paddle – sunny and hot.

So I dragged out the Thule roof rack and attached it to the car. I have two sets of kayak saddles that just stay on the bars – this way i just have to attach the rack bars and I’m good to go. The rack will stay up until October, because I am lazy. The mileage hit is only one or two miles per gallon, and I would much rather be able to spontaneously decide to go kayaking.

Selkie is all ready to go! The creek/lake system that I like to paddle in is only five blocks from my house, but I would rather spend my energy actually kayaking instead of lugging the damn thing for five blocks.

Here’s my launch spot; it’s a little oogy with algae but the landing area has a nice angle – the other launch spots have concrete and I don’t want to scrape the bottom of my boat.

Everything’s good to go: PFD, paddle, water, sunblock and oh, yeah – a cushion for my ass. This is very important. There cannot be enough Cushie for your Tushie.

Takeoff was successful. By successful I mean that I did not tip over trying to get into the damn thing. It’s been a year!

I also had to re-discover my sea-butt. People talk about their sea-legs when boating; kayaking has sea-butt – the ability to let your hips go loosey-goosey and just relax into the motion of the boat. Took me about 20 minutes and a close call to get my sea-butt in gear.

Now, I live in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, and one thing I love about this little set of lakes is that while I’m out on them I can forget that I’m close to a city. Does this look near a city to you? I don’t think so either. It’s like a different world.

I guess this part would be considered the lower lake – it is more natural, and there are no walkways or playgrounds. Along the banks are houses, but fortunately you can’t see them very much. A LOT of animal life on this side; herons, turtles, ducks, etc. Most people fish on this side. I came across a mama duck and her babies.

I loved how still the water was. I could drift slowly along the water-lilies and take the occasional picture. After about forty minutes I decided to head over to the upper lake.

A major roadway divides the two sections; fortunately there is an arched tunnel under the bridge. Am I going to go through it? You betcha!

This side is a little busier – it’s part of the county park system and has walking paths, playgrounds and picnic areas. Still, the wildlife was out. I found a duck sitting on an old concrete piling. He quacked at me before he flew away.

Back at the turn of the century this lake was a popular spot, and had fancy landings and even little ferries that went from bank to bank. Here is one of the landing that is still fairly intact.

There’s also a pedestrian bridge that’s been kept in good condition.

I came upon a turtle sunning himself! I had been looking for them, but only found the one; I think it was because the lake was high from all the rain and most of the tree stumps they favor were still submerged. This picture show him just about to plop back into the water – guess I wasn’t quiet enough!

There were other kayakers out on the lake, at least a half dozen. The guy in the red boat was actually TALKING ON HIS CELL PHONE while he was paddling. Dude… I thought the point of kayaking was to get AWAY from that kind of crap for an hour or two.

My arms started to get tired so it was time to head back. I successfully landed (read: didn’t tip out while getting out), loaded Selkie back up on the rack and headed home.

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