The paddle through the canal...
Sunday, September 29, 2013
We had a blast today paddling the Seneca-Cayuga Canal, which runs between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake in central NY. We drove out yesterday afternoon, stopping for dinner in Geneva. Jeremy and I both wanted shrimp fettucini alfredo. We found this restaurant that served it about a half hour from our destination. It was very busy and we didn't have a reservation, but since we were willing to take a tiny table in a back corner we were seated almost right away. Service was fast, and we ordered, ate and paid in less than an hour! We got to Angela's (4A_HealthyBMI) house right around 7pm, unloaded my boat from Jeremy's car, and loaded it on Angela's car. My brother has been late for the last two paddles that we have all done together, so just in case he was late again we decided I would have my boat and all my gear with me instead of in (and on) his car. Good thing since he was late again! Anyways... Angela and I watched a really cool movie about paddling the Inga rapids on the Congo and then toddled off to bed. I did not sleep well. I don't know if it was anticipation or the unfamiliar bed, but I woke up about every half hour. I finally gave up and got up around 6:30. Angela and I were early to the launch site, but we were not the first ones there. Almost everyone had arrived (minus Jeremy, plus one other), so folks drove most of the cars to the take out while a few of us (the passengers) watched over the boats. Jeremy rolled in a mere 10 minutes late, but hehad said he was aiming for 8am, and arrived after 8:30am, so... Finally everyone returned from shuttling the cars to the takeout, and we all got on the water. (I was already on the water, as I just couldn't wait.) I think we were 12 boats and 13 paddlers, as there was one 2 person canoe and two boats joined us along the way and paddled with us for a short ways, so total count was 14 boats. Last year there were just 5 of us. 5 is a much easier number to manage! But today's paddle was fun too. One of the boats was an inflatable raft. The guy paddling it was pretty stubbornly trying to keep up with the group, but it just wasn't happening. Thankfully someone had brought their tow rope, so the kayakers took turn towing him, and eventually two kayakers at a time started towing him. With two kayaks playing tugboat he was at the front of the pack! All the other boats were much longer than my Peri Pungo boat, so I figured I would be the slow boat in the group, but I would get into a good stroke cadence and ended up at the front or near the front of the group for a majority of the way. People were commenting on how hard I must have been paddling my fat, short boat, but I never got above a "brisk walk" worth of effort. The paddle was just about 14 miles and I was only about "half done". ("Half done" is the measure Jeremy and I use for our paddles on Lake Erie. I let him know when I think I am halfway done as far as energy and strength go, and that is when we turn around to return to our launch.) One of the highlights of this paddle was going through the locks on the canal. We went through 3 locks, though one was a double lock, so you could make an argument for saying it was 4 locks. We started at Seneca Lake State Park, and finished at the Montezuma Wildlife Preserve. I had a few issues over the course of the paddle. One was lock etiquette... Hardly anyone kept their position on the ropes. In fact one paddler consistently did not wait for the light to green before proceeding in and out of the locks. The other one was the number of people who removed their PFDs. (Lifejackets) I know it was flat water, and there was a good chance nothing would happen like a capsize or collision, but I firmly believe in the common sense of ALWAYS wearing your PFD while you are in your boat. I would hate for someone to need it and possibly drown, just because they got "too hot" and took off their PFD. But this was not an event sponsored by any entity, so there was no liability issue, so when folks started taking off their PFDs I figured it wasn't my place to say anything. I would rather just focus on my own paddling anyways. (Sorry, rant over.)
Overall, it was a very well planned event, and the weather was pretty much perfect. The leaves are probably about a week from peak color, but there was some color.
Building management left a note on my door that the guys are coming at 8:30 tomorrow morning to replace the last window in my apartment finally, so I should probably go clean my apartment a little. I mostly cleaned it before I left yesterday, but I have a pile of books to put away.
I also have to go get a bunch of fasting blood work done in the morning, so I will probably run the dog back out to my parents' house and then go do my blood work, while the guys are fooling around with my window. I am not allowed in my apartment while they are working, so I am taking a couple books with me. When I am done with blood work and a couple other errands I will go back out to my parents' house and sit in my brother's hammock with the dog and read for a while. It will be a nice change of pace. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I finally take it easy!