Ice Kayaking

We have a pair of very adventurous friends in Alaska. We realized that part of why we were so awed by their many activities was that the word ‘ice’ was put in front of somewhat ordinary things – ice climbing, ice skating, ice hiking, ice biking? (Ice or not, these two are hard core). This past weekend, we tried out (mild) ice kayaking thanks to many winter storms in Virginia.

We are the happy blue dot heading south to flee the traffic and snowstorm mayhem in DC
We are the happy blue dot heading south to flee the traffic and snowstorm mayhem in DC

Upon waking Thursday, we realized that 1- DC was about to get buried in snow again and 2- work was closed. We made an executive decision to run for it and quickly loaded the car with all of Joey’s accoutrements, including him, and started driving south to Sanden. Freezing rain was falling as we departed Alexandria, but that shifted over to plain, unfrozen rain as we continued south and east to our destination. We made two stops for ice cream and groceries, and made it to Sanden just in time for Joey’s nap.

This was an excellent decision. Joey was able to spend all of Friday with his grandparents while we worked, and we had lots of time during the weekend to relax, help clean up the house for summer, and get in some kayaking.

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Although the most recent storm missed Mathews and Saturday had a high of 50 F, there was still a significant amount of ice on the creek when we decided to go kayaking. We are of the type to ask how we will do something, not whether or not we can do it.

Joey is developing his camera skills from an early age
Joey is developing his camera skills from an early age

Simon donned waders and blazed a channel through the thick ice for our boats so that we could get out into the open water. We bundled up in warm clothes and had a beautiful excursion, with the creek to ourselves and only periodic ice floes to avoid or crash through. The birds had started to re-appear after a very cold winter, the sun was sparkling on the water and ice, and everything was immensely peaceful.

We elected to take this on during nap time. Joey has been very enthusiastic about jumping in to the pool during his weekly swim lessons, and I didn’t want to take any chance of him leaping out of a kayak! He was enjoyed the ice along the shore and views from the pier in the morning.

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