Thursday, May 24, 2018

Lake Adventures

Steve has been dreaming of taking the girls canoeing for months, maybe years. We have friends with canoes! There are lakes nearby! The girls would love it! I've just nodded in agreement, because it's all true. I'm just not personally excited about the idea of canoeing. When I was around Katherine's age, my family took a canoeing trip through the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. My dad and sister view that trip as a fantastic experience. My mom and I remember it as the Vacation from Hell. I haven't been in a canoe since. This week Steve finally made all the arrangements to borrow and transport canoes and life vests, checked the weather forecasts, and scheduled the trip to the lake. So we went. And despite my misgivings, it ended up being a whole lot of fun.

Our good friend Bill loaned us his boating equipment and then offered to drive it all down to the lake and help us in and out of the water. The girls have long adored Bill, but after today they have claimed him as their "Third Grandpa!"

Katherine and Rachel had both briefly paddled canoes at church camp, but this was their first chance to really go exploring in a boat. Katherine and Dad took off in one canoe.
Steve and Rachel paddled another.
I am fighting allergies and a brand new asthma diagnosis, so I opted to stay on shore with Granny and  Bill and just watch.
It was a beautiful day, not too hot and with lots of cloud cover. The canoes moved off far into the distance and then slowly paddled back into view. We noticed that Katherine and my dad had pulled ashore at some point to switch positions. Katherine happily took on the power paddling/control spot at the back of the canoe!
Everyone came back in for a picnic lunch...
...and then were eager to go out again.

Bill had also brought a couple of kayaks, which Steve and the girls had never tried. Steve took one out first.
Soon after, Katherine begged to give one a try. She loved it instantly.

Soon father and daughter were passing each other by.
Rachel wanted to try riding in the back of the canoe, so Steve let her try. I think he may have regretted giving in to that request - it is SO much harder to steer and provide the main power from the front seat of a canoe!

Katherine came back for a drink and a rest, but I think she would have been happy to paddle that kayak all day long.

As everyone was tiring, the sky darkened and threatened rain so we pulled the boats out of the water and packed up.
We drove down the lake road just a bit to see the waterfall. The falls are fed by overflow from the lake and only run when there has been rain. After months of drought, we have had just enough rain to allow the placid, swampy end of the lake to spill over the edge of a cliff. It's such a beautiful sight!

Despite my lack of initial enthusiasm, our lake adventures were a lot of fun. The scenery was lovely. The girls loved canoeing and kayaking. We spent time with family and a friend who is like family. My dad got to enjoy passing on his love of canoeing to his granddaughters. And we tried things we had never done. Maybe next time I'll even get in the water.

I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters


Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way