The Thrill of the Ride

There are a lot of days when I look at the schedule and, I’ll be honest, I’m not too thrilled. However, yesterday was not one of those days.

I, somehow, was able to convince my editor and content editor that it would behoove them to let me take a four-hour kayak trip and write an article on it. Sure, I could have written it by making a few calls and meeting the kayakers when they were done, but what fun is that?

Read the story

So we met early Thursday morning, me and nine others ready to set out for a nine-mile kayaking adventure. I’ll again be honest and say my pre-interviews me made me more than apprehensive about going on this adventure.

I was certainly excited about spending a day outside, out of the office, but my interviewee went on and on about all the snakes, spiders and alligators they had been spying.

Um, no thank you.

I’m not irrational; I think a fear of creepy, crawly and slithery things is healthy. Especially when you find out a large majority of them a venomous (Note: Snakes are not poisonous, they are venomous. For it to be a poison it has to be ingested.)

I also have a lot more pride than I’d like to admit so when the instructor asked if I’d kayaked my, “Yes!” may have been incorrect. I think the last time I kayaked was six years ago, in the Gulf, for about 10 minutes.

So I, being the experienced kayaker I claimed to be, got one of the larger, more challenging to maneuver kayaks and set out without a clue as to what I was doing.

Luckily, I was amongst a group of people who were all kind, funny and as talented as I was with their kayaks. One man – he can be described as in his 50s, big muscles – fell out of his boat at every turn. The whole group thought it was hilarious.

Of course I did not go unscathed.

My nickname by the end of the trip was “Tree magnet” because my kayak seemed to never stay in the middle and, if my estimations are correct, I ran into every tree along the river we went down.

I learned to embrace the fact that this would happen. To anyone with the same afflictions that I have, it’s best to wear a ball cap and long-sleeved shirt, tuck your head down and close your eyes – worked just about every time.

In the end, I saw multiple snakes – both venomous and non-venomous, welcomed a multitude of spiders onto my kayak after I disturbed their tree branch home and only fell out of my kayak twice.

Some days, work isn’t so bad.

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