Paddle This!

August 20, 2012 at 10:41 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Paddles.  You use paddles when you kayak, not oars.

Look what I can do!

And it was awesome.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad freaked out when we got started at Urban Kayaks, as the thought of plunging into the Chicago River sans Hazmat suit wasn’t something I relished.  I’ll even admit to snapping at Scott once or twice (or a dozen times) when our paddles would smack or I felt we were getting to close to the wall.  He handled it like a pro, though, and even maneuvered and turned us with the greatest of ease.  I probably could’ve managed this on my own but he looked like he could use a workout so I let him handle the heavy rowing.  Our group had roughly 15 kayakers in solo and tandem rides, and we had three tour guides with us throughout the evening.  Two basically rode around to ensure we didn’t kill ourselves while the main guide stopped us periodically to give us interesting tidbits of information about Chicago’s skyline and history.  She was very knowledgeable and I managed to feel safe during our 2 hour, 3 mile trek, even when faced with huge tourist boats and yachts that crossed our path.  I definitely felt like the little guy on the river when fighting the wake from these ships but no one in our group capsized so they weren’t anything we couldn’t handle.

This kind of adventure isn’t ideal for someone who doesn’t want to get wet, as our pants definitely absorbed some water throughout the trip.  It wasn’t too bad though and we paused long enough so I could snap some pictures (see above), and my arms weren’t nearly as sore as I was worried they were going to be the next day (must be all that iron I’m pumping).  The whole thing was a great way to check out the sunset over our lovely city and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to give it a try. There was a family with us that had a little girl who was probably 9 or 10 and a grandpa who had to have been in his 70’s so it’s age appropriate for just about anyone.  It really is urban, too – complete with a few pockets of nasty river smell and at least one dead fish.  But hey, that’s reality, right?  At least I didn’t fall in!


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