Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Camping and Kayaking

I'm pretty excited. In 3 weeks, Paul and I will be leaving to go on another camping trip. This time it will be a 3 night solo trip - just the 2 of us.

We will be heading back to Maunch Chunk Lake State Park in Carbon County, PA. It is where we were just this past weekend and though I enjoyed the campsite at Kitattinny, this location has a hard core Kayak school.

We were unable to get the lake front campsites we were hoping for, but we have a site a bit deeper set into the woods. I'm sure it will be fine. After all we will be spending most of our time in the river.

We are planning to leave directly from work on Friday the 17th and begin heading down to the town of Jim Thorpe where we will check into our campground and set up camp. We will likely cook dinner and make a campfire and just enjoy a nice relaxing night. This is a dry campground, but a few beers or cup of wine in a red solo cup won't hurt anyone.

The next morning we will have to wake up bright and early, get on our swim suits, eat a pretty hearty breakfast and head out to the Kayak School. Our 1st day begins at 9 and lasts for 8+ hours. We will be taken to a lake where we will be taught several skills:
  • wet exit
  • proper posture and balance
  • how to turn in a kayak
  • how to paddle strait
  • correction or stearing strokes, and
  • the eskimo roll
I'm sure after doing that for 8 hours in the lake having only a natural granola style lunch, we will be both exhausted and hungry. We will head back to camp where we will enjoy a more sophisticated camp fire dinner (grilled fish and veggies... maybe some steaks). And then just relax and enjoy some alone time by the fire and in our tent.

Day 2 has us up bight and early again for another 8 hour day but this time in the river. After a quick refresher class of the day before we will be headed up to the Lehigh River for some white water. Here in the rapids (8 miles ... 20 rapids) we will learn:
  • Peel outs
  • eddy turns
  • ferrying
  • surfing
  • carving turns, and
  • ruddering
Again only on a granola lunch. We will make it back to camp, make ourselves a nice dinner and again relax our weary bones.

Monday morning we will wake up, enjoy breakfast, maybe a walk... pack our gear and then do whatever it is we want ... just making sure we are home in time for work the next morning ... at least in time for ME to be at work the next morning.

I'm really excited for this trip. I wanted to do the inflatable kayaking trip which is less dangerous and thus requires a lot less training, but has you out in the rapids far quicker. Paul didn't want to take any short cuts. This is what he really wanted to do this summer... learn how to do REAL kayaking and now we will have that opportunity. Hopefully this is a sport we will come to love and invest in for the future... snowboarding in the winter and kayaking in the summer? That seems like a pretty good set up... especially since I HEAR that kayaking can be a cheap sport... if you get the right equipment it should last you a life time and you'll only pay for it once... the river is free... unlike the lift tickets we purchase weekend after weekend throughout the winter.

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