Saturday, June 27, 2009

Noam's Paddling Expedition Part 2

Our first day of kayaking ended up being more adventure than anyone wanted. To make a long story short, recent rains and the opening of a dam made the river too swift for many of the paddlers to handle. I was instructed to secure my boat to an old gazebo on the side of the river, in the rising water, and walk through private land to get to a road where someone could pick me up and take me back to camp. Noam was terrified, even though we were never in any danger, so he stayed snug in my dry bag.

The incident of fifty kayakers abandoning their plans for an eight-mile paddle caused an unbelievable media frenzy. They're like vultures! The media ended up being the real problem, we were in more danger in being covered in that filthy water than we were for any other reason, but they kept trying to make a story out of it. (Many of them ended up reporting wrong information, but that's irrelevant to Noam's adventure.)

I think the cameras scared Noam quite a bit. The EMTs had taped off a section for us so we could get some peace as we regrouped, had lunch, and made a plan to recover boats and make it to the next camp site. I found Noam hiding in a tree!

Keep them back!

They're scary!

I didn't like talking to them much either, Noam.

I sent Noam to the campsite with one of the other paddlers. He was done with the water for the day, but I had to go back for my boat. After many hours, I arrived at the campsite. We were to have a fun party with music and contra dancing into the wee hours of the night. Noam may not have liked the cameras, but I think he likes being on stage.

I need to learn an instrument.

He had some fun with the second group of players, the ones leading the dancing, as well.

And, turn to the left, turn to the right, bow to your partner!

I didn't have much energy to be dancing all night, after that very eventful day. I went to bed early. I didn't even hear Noam crawl into his sleeping bag.

The next day, we actually got to hit the water! There was a big black cloud that caused some worry, though. The group I was with beached the boats while it passed. It didn't send more than a few raindrops on us, but it is still better to be safe. I sure don't want to be on the water with nothing around, holding a big metal pole in my hand when lightening has potential!

It was a little boring waiting for the cloud to pass. Noam was busy chatting with some of the other paddlers.

And then he said....

We also worked on some river restoration and education projects. I chose to work on the nature play area, and Noam and I spent two hours making a sign for it. I burnt my hand on the hot bit when it flew out of the drill, so the wetlands sanctuary had better appreciate what I went through!

I worked hard, too!

This day ended with a fantastic sing along. Noam didn't know these songs that I learned some twenty five years ago. It was really fun to teach him.

The fox is on the town-o!

The gent who normally plays the fiddle in this group had a fiddle mishap (it was in two pieces!) so he played the mandolyn instead. I play fiddle as well, but always struggled with the mandolyn. Here he is, showing Noam a chord.

Was that C or G?

And so ended our third night. We've got two more days on the water and one more night camping to go.

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