Saturday, June 07, 2008

I Should Have Thought of That Earlier

Before I go any further today, I need to offer up the disclaimer that this post will not be read through after typing. You'll find out why as you read. Also, you likely will not see any posts from me until at least Tuesday if not Wednesday. I will be writing, I just won't have reliable access to the blog over the next few days, especially while Mickey and I are doing the hiking trip of many water fordings.

Today was the start of my Big Masculine Manly Adventure Summer. Because I knew my regular big road trip was going to be off this year because of E's entertainment needs and abilities, I decided that I'd do a lot of outdoorsy mini-trips to make up for it. That backpacking trip with Mickey is one, the other was to do some kayaking. Today was my first planned kayaking excursion. There was an organized paddle down the Altamaha River today and I thought this would be a good way to get a start on it. There were only about a dozen people and we ended up spreading out enough that I rarely saw any of the other paddlers for the entire 14 miles of the trip. With minimal breaks it took us from just before 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. to finish the route. Part of the problem is that the Altamaha is a very wide and slow-moving river so almost all of our speed came from the paddling. I also failed to comprehend the true affects of doing this on a day when the highs reached the mid 90s. Another problem is that K and I have never gone for more than three hours at a time before. A final problem is that it didn't cross my mind to reapply 50 spf sport sun block at any time during the paddle until it was too late.

The results? Not so pretty. My shoulders and arms are killing me. That's perhaps from bad form with the paddles; I know you're supposed to use the torso, but the worst pain is actually in my forearms from the muscles that kept my fingers closed over the shaft. If we'd only stayed out for half the time, I would have been ok. I didn't start getting tired until the last hour of the trip. That's not a big deal. I'll be in pain tomorrow, but it won't affect my hiking much on Monday and Tuesday. The second thing is that the heat from about noon on tired us out more quickly and made the last half of the trip a little less than enjoyable than it could have been. The last problem is that I ended the day burned. A product of all of those factors in some way or another. My arms will be fine. I won't even feel the burn by the end of tomorrow or at least Monday morning. They've were conditioned nicely during tennis season and didn't lose too much of their protective tan. My lower legs on the other hand didn't have that benefit. My right ankle is rather burned at the moment. With the Solarcaine application, it doesn't bother me, but I am a bit worried how it'll stand up to shoe wearing and the hiking coming up in a couple of days. I'm not overly worried. A lot of times mild burns are gone overnight. This one might still be a little tender on Monday, but I'm thinking it's not so bad that it'll cause any major problems.

Other than that, K and I really enjoyed the trip. Despite both of us being in multiple forms of pain at the moment from the trip, we're both talking about taking a paddle of a different section of the river on the last Saturday of September. I'm thinking the weather should be a little nicer then. Probably in the high 70s to mid 80s. Nice.

Check back on Tuesday or Wednesday to see if I ruined Mickey's backpacking trip by whining about my immense discomfort for 24 hours straight.

K was the first one in the water and so got her picture taken first. Doesn't she look like she knows what she's doing? At this point, it's not quite 10 a.m and could almost be described as cool, but not quite.

My knees before they were burned. If you look very carefully you can see the only bridge we passed under during the 14 miles of the trip.

K paddling again, this time with part of the nuclear power plant in the background.

This is the closest it gets to a traffic jam on this part of the river. There were probably five boats total on this little stretch just downstream from the nuclear power plant. We never saw more than a single boat at a time after this.

This is one of several species of freshwater mussel in the river. This one was large enough to cover most of my palm (not counting fingers) and spit at me when I picked it up. There were a ton of these in the river along with a darker variety. I really wonder what they'd taste like. I've never heard of anyone eating them.

This happens sometimes when the river changes course. This tree used to be on solid ground, but the river decided to cut a corner and all of the sudden eroded the bank it had taken root in. Before too long it'll be another tree lying submerged in the river.


Julie said...

Stupid mussels taking my water.

Stupid Jacob, too. My dermatologist says there's no such thing as a "base tan" to protect you from dying of skin cancer.

Meaghan said...

Good post! I'm glad you documented your trip with photos. I'll expect the same from the hiking with Mickey, but as Chris said on Mickey's blog: no nakedness please!

Chris said...

Yes, nice photos. I especially like the impressive view of the tree roots. May-haps I'll try a bit of kayaking myself this summer.

Mickey said...

Nice pictures. The river is a bit wider than I imagined, but not much. I look forward to the next set of photo-illustrations.

Jacob said...

Julie: I don't care about skin cancer. No one has had it in my family and many of them spent their youths much more out in the sun than I did, growing up on farms. I just care about not getting burned. Besides, I'm going to die of something anyway, and those last years always suck regardless.

Meaghan: Why exactly would you expect nudity from a trip with just me and Mickey?

Chris: Mickey and Courtney are still supposedly interested in kayaking down here, as is my sister and possibly her boyfriend. There's a local canoe and kayak outfitter here who would even drop us off and pick us up including kayak and canoes for somewhere around $30 a person. It could have been $30 per boat, but I'll assume the higher estimate.