Saturday, July 23, 2005

Out and About

Even though I work at a state park, I don’t get outdoors that much, so I was feeling that I was suffering from “nature deficit disorder” myself and decided to get outdoors and enjoy the day. As yesterday was a beautiful day and I had a rare day to myself, I loaded my kayak onto my car and went up to the north shore of Lake Superior, over a hundred miles away.

As I got to my destination, I unloaded my kayak and carried the 13.5 foot, 50 lb boat to the shore of the Lake. I have to admit that I was very proud to be able carry it myself. Near the launch point, I noticed a sign that warned kayakers about the dangers of lake. That almost scared me away. Almost. I felt that I was prepared to deal with any weather that came up and I had no intentions of going that far from the shore.

As I pushed into the water, I noticed that the surface of Lake Superior, an otherwise wave-ridden body of water, was like glass. So smooth, in fact, I hardly felt any resistant as I dipped each end of my paddle into the water. Soon, I was far away from my starting point and under the rock tower upon which stood the most photographed lighthouse of Lake Superior, Split Rock Lighthouse. I felt like I was in my own private world. That is until I heard voices. No, not in my head, but coming from the lighthouse above me.

I heard the word “kayaker” several times, and then a very loud, child’s voice yelled out “Mom! Dad! Come here! Is that person crazy?” I started laughing. I thought to myself, “There are not many people who will ever see the lighthouse from this point of view. I am so lucky to be out here today.”

I took my time exploring the rock formations around the lighthouse, with their tall cliffs and big boulders sticking out of the water. I was content and calm – that is until I looked down. The water was very clear and I could see straight to the bottom – about 50 feet below me even though I was right at the cliff. Deciding that I didn’t want to test out my PFD, I decided to head back to my launch point.

I looked for a place to land my kayak on the pebble beach and soon was pulling up onto shore. I spent the next 15 minutes rock picking, or hunting; I was looking for agates. Although I didn’t find any, I did find some very interesting rocks.

I packed up, put my kayak back on my car and headed up the road to my favorite restaurant, where they serve fish from the lake. Everything at this resturant is organic. Yum. As I traveled home, I felt content and happy that I was able to be outside today.

All in all, a very satisfying day.

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