chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Canoeing: Plant a Seed and Hope it Grows

Let me preface my post by saying that I just love being near, on, or in the water. I don’t know if that love comes from my mother taking the family to the beach all summer long or something to do with a past life. In any case, I don’t discriminate between bodies of water. Creeks, lakes, rivers, oceans: I love them all equally. There is just something so peaceful and renewing about being around water.

I have been lucky enough to live fairly close to bodies of water my entire life. Lake Champlain and the Saranac River were very accessible during my “growing” years. Life in New Jersey brought the Atlantic Ocean and our house near Buffalo was about 10 minutes from the shores of Lake Erie. Our move to the Finger Lakes region brought a new wealth of lakes, ponds and the Erie Canal to explore and enjoy.

My life in the Finger Lakes and the enjoyment in the views of the lakes started me thinking about owning a canoe of my very own. The thought of paddling in the waters of the Finger Lakes region just sounded so relaxing and soothing. Just think of the near-silent dipping of a paddle in a calm body of water propelling you forward into the sunset enjoying the scenery and wildlife all around you on a beautiful summer evening.

And so the challenge begins. I planted the seed of owning a canoe with my husband 15 years ago when we moved to the Finger Lakes. I explained how nice it would be to get out onto the water and enjoy the natural resources around us. I thought he was listening until he went out and bought a very nice 17’ Bayliner motor boat. It was a beautiful boat, but it was loud and smelly. Certainly not the calm and peaceful experience I thought of with a canoe. We sped around several of the Finger Lakes and even brought it up to the Adirondacks a few times. Our youngest daughter learned to water ski; something impossible to do with a canoe. But the boat just got to be too much trouble. It was always a production to get it into the water and after a few years it was for sale.

In the meantime, we have had a few positive canoe experiences. A paddling trip on the Delaware River Water Gap was very enjoyable but it still didn’t convince Tom that we needed a canoe of our own. Not until we borrowed a canoe this past summer and used it on Loon Lake in the Adirondacks did he start to seriously think of buying one. His addiction to Craig’s List came into play and by the end of the summer we were the proud owners of a canoe. My request was that before taking it to the Adirondacks we take it for a paddle on the Erie Canal.

Lo and behold, my dream of owning a canoe and paddling on the Erie Canal was finally realized this past week-end. For about 45 minutes on Sunday morning we paddled along the canal. The water was as smooth as glass and the fish were jumping all around us. It was a wonderful experience.

Was preparing myself physically for paddling a canoe on the Erie Canal the challenge? No, the real challenge was convincing my husband over a span of 15 years to give it a try! So plant your own seed and have patience. You just never know.

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