Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Up A Creek

This weekend the weather forecasters were telling everybody, "Stay indoors! Batten down the hatches! Run for your lives!" So I went kayaking out on Fire Island.

This was through the Appalachian Mountain Club, which has cabins in a quiet, remote section of the island. They have these different theme weekends at the cabins. This past weekend was kayaking. There's a chocolate weekend in October. It's booked solid.

The kayak lessons were in the Bay, led by Brant and Betsy, a couple who've been kayaking for decades. Betsy even had this full kayaking gear with a canvas helmet and goggles that made her look like a martian beekeeper. This time I wore a bathing suit, which was a damn good thing, because when I pulled the kayak out of the water it slipped and I fell smack on my behind in the marsh grass.

We got a few good hours in on Saturday morning before the storm hit. Then everybody stayed in the bunkhouse dining room and had food and wine and played board games. Oh yeah...and the bathrooms are outdoors. I don't mean you go in the woods and a bear bites your ass; the toilets are indoors but in a separate cabin. So having to pee or to change your clothes or brush your teeth means grabbing an umbrella and making a run for it. And stepping on wet mats going into and out of every door. Everything I stepped on squished. It took until Sunday afternoon for everybody to get dry.

There's a new little separate building there, too, where they have indoor classes and a little library. If I'd been out there longer, or if the storm hadn't forced everybody into the dining area, I would have spent more time in that building. There's a yoga weekend that's very popular. Maybe I'll go to that one. When you think about it, it's fun to learn how to use a kayak correctly but if you're not going to pursue it on a regular basis, it's not very useful. I can do yoga in my living room. If you're kayaking in your living room, you need to call a plumber.

So maybe next time, chocolate. Or yoga. Or something. Or maybe boating around the shoreline to see all the little communities on Fire Island, because there are no connecting roads and the only way to walk from one place to another is on the ocean side, on the sand. You figure, "that's good exercise," then after a couple of miles you feel like Lawrence of Arabia dragging his butt boys to Cairo.

Oh by the way, swans? Mean, vicious birds. Very territorial when you paddle a kayak into them. You've been warned.

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