Monday, July 27, 2009

i am captain of this boat with a crew of one

Purchasing a kayak has been on my list of things to do in life for a few years now. It was one of those items that I knew I had to have, but I would always just think I would buy it next year...then that year would come and go I would still be saying...oh well I'll just get it next year. Thankfully, 2009 was that year! As with most things I do, I just decided one afternoon that I was going to buy a kayak very soon and within 3 days I became the proud owner of a 16 foot, bright red Prijon Seayak. As with all boats, I decided that she must have a name...this decision process was the task on the ride home. In the end, I decided on 'Red Tide' and I'm still thinking of ways to somehow get this tattooed onto her body.

Our most recent adventure was at Foster Lake --just outside of Sweet Home, OR (about an hour from Corvallis). I had just gotten back from Boston, MA and Dave and I wanted to get out and on the water somewhere before he left for DC. I was really tired of traveling and it was getting late in the afternoon so we decided on this location since it was relatively close.

Foster Lake is not actually a's a reservoir used for drinking water and electricity for some of the nearby cities in Central/Western Oregon. I remember seeing it when I first drove to Corvallis from Ohio and I thought it was gorgeous and pristine.

Most of the other boaters that were also visiting the lake that day were speed boats with water skiers and jet skis so there were actually lots of pretty large waves (even bigger than what I've seen in ocean bays) for what would otherwise be still water. At first it made me really nervous, but it soon became pretty fun to see the waves rushing toward you and rock the kayak around. We paddled to the other side of the lake to see the dam, but I didn't want to get too close because of my weird phobia of seeing structures that dive deep underwater. Then we headed back to the opposite side where I proved to Dave that there was an island in the center of the reservoir...just kidding...I totally lost that bet.

As it was just starting to get dark we headed up one of the streams that feed the Foster Lake. The water was still and created a glass surface reflecting the trees, which grew right up to the water's edge. We paddled very little in here and instead just became silent observers of the nature around us. This is the part of nature that I like...the kind that comes out when all the loud people, boat engines, and screaming kids are no where nearby. We watched a goose bathe itself a rock, which protruded like an iceberg out of the water. Meanwhile, a group of little baby geese practiced diving and resurfacing near the water's edge. We even followed a beaver for about 15 minutes as he swam along the periphery of the lake and crawled out of the water to gnaw on wood for a few minutes before slinking back into his aquatic realm. Despite our attempt to be discrete, I'm pretty sure he was aware of our presence and after ~15 minutes of watching him, he slapped his tail on the water and disappeared like a magician performing a final act!

That night we were also treated with the most gorgeous sunset! A crescent moon came up just over the silhouettes of evergreen trees and the scene was perfected by a beautiful pink and purple sky.