Friday, September 1, 2017

Cabin In The Woods, Pt 4

I woke up early the next day in order to call the kayaking company. You see, the quality of the kayaking is heavily dependent on the river authority and how much water they release from the nearby reservoir. Strangely, the recent rains hadn't raised the river level very much, and I was worried that the river wouldn't be high enough to boat on. Luckily for us, they had released a little water, and the river was good enough (according to the proprietor).

As such, we were off for our kayaking adventure!

Day 5: Kayaking

There are *lots* of kayaking companies in the Broken Bow area. After researching, we decided to go with Yippie Kayo Kayaks. We had a good experience with them. If you're ever in the area and want to get out on the river a bit, you should definitely look them up.

There was another family in our launch, so the van was quite full on the way to the river. You might say we were crammed in there like sardines, but I'm pretty sure sardines are saltwater fish. Is there a tiny, tight-schooled freshwater fish?

Sorry, back to the actual story. We had high hopes of high adventure as we entered the river.

...except Gabriel, full of trepidation.
What a great day to kayak that was. The temperature remained in the 80s or below and the sun was occasionally obscured by clouds. The river itself wasn't very high, which was good and bad. In the area we kayaked, if the river gets too high, the rapids become... more challenging. As it was, we only had a single waterfall to go over.

Tanya was our official photographer, by the way. The following picture was taken after we all successfully made through the rapids (most of which I had to walk through, since my boat dragged the bottom) and then over the falls.

Those are the falls, under the arrow.
I had water cooler duty.

Water cooler duty
You see the cooler? It's full of bottled water. It also happens to have a small bottle of bug spray in it. It's lashed to my kayak by a single, small bungee cord. Given how I've described the river, you'd think that would be good enough to keep the cooler securely fastened. Not so much, as it turns out. There were a couple of spots where the kayak went up on its side or completely turned over (hey, it happens even on simple little turns or rocks -- for the record, I had to get out and right the kayak or move it past rocks several times).

The reason I bring this up is that even though the cooler's lid was super-tight, the cooler still got river water in it. In addition, the bug spray bottle must've leaked a little, because at the end of the trip there was a very delicious lemony smell expelled from the cooler as we opened the lid. Needless to say, no bugs wound up drinking from those water bottles...

At one point, a bald eagle put on a display for us... a display of confusion. We were paddling along when this majestic creature swooped out of a tree, diving straight towards the far bank of the river. It grabbed what looked like a rock, started ascending back towards its tree, but dropped the rock about halfway over the stream. The rock landed with a less than thrilling splash as the eagle resumed its perch.

I have no idea what I'm doing.
Our best guess is that the eagle had grabbed one of the turtles from the water near the far bank, and then either instinctively dropped it in order to crack its shell or was getting snapped severely enough by the turtle itself that the eagle decided it wasn't worth the effort. In either case, we couldn't figure out why the silly bird didn't make a grab at the fish that we could clearly see splashing around all over the river. Maybe it's a turtle-tarian?

I was surprised to learn that everyone actually enjoyed the kayaking. I had doubts about whether or not the boys would think it was fun. Photographic proof follows.

Gabriel approves of not getting sunburnt

Garrett and I try a tandem experiment. It failed.
Tanya makes me take a picture without goofy sunglasses. I smiled despite myself.
Victory! Raise your paddles for a job well done!
I've got to let you guys in on a secret. I've saved the best part of the experience for last. Are you ready?





Space Pants!
And if you're wondering, these are *not* mine, they're Tanya's, but yes, I absolutely want a pair.

This was the last of our adventures on the surprise summer vacacay. It was unexpectedly enjoyable. If you ever have a hankering to rent a Cabin In The Woods, indulge that hankering. And get out on some zip lines, and onto the river in some kayaks. If you can avoid or embrace the thunderstorms, you're bound to have a grand ol' time!

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