I’ve been trying to get out and about as much as possible over the last month that I have finally had my weekends back, and I have succeeded in this for the most part.
Weekends have been spent camping, crabbing, and other various activities.
Oddly enough, the 2 wheeled transportation has not been getting used as much this summer. We have had a very “mild” if you can call it that, summer here in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the Seattle area.
I’m one of those riders who will ride in pretty much any type of weather, hell, I’ve even ridden while it was snowing. So when a nice day comes along that I can wear shorts and a t-shirt, I take the opportunity to spend it outdoors. We’ve had very few really “nice” days so far this year, so I’ve spent most of my weekends that we do have that kind of weather, in shorts and a t-shirt and in my Frontier (or in someone’s rig).
Earlier this year I went on a camping trip with a couple of buddies on Lopez Island.
Jeff has a canoe, so we spend the weekend floating around in that canoe and fishing. I’m not big on fishing. I get bored after awhile if doing it from land, but have always enjoyed being on the water.
I didn’t catch anything, but Jeff did catch a Ling Cod when Grant and I went to the local grocery store. It made a delicious dinner.
While on Lopez though, I got the itch for being on the water. I also was intrigued by the kayaks out on the water.
When I got home from that camping trip, I did a little research and looked at Kayaks online. Trying to get an idea of what was involved in owning one, costs associated, and what the different styles were used for.
So after that weekend, life went back to the grind, as we were working on the big project at work, and I continued on, not much thought of other things.
Eventually the project ended, and I had time to breathe. I have put in some time camping, have done some crabbing (yay!) and as mentioned, very little riding overall compared to previous years.
Crabbing has been fun. We have been using Jeff’s canoe in the Puget Sound to do our crabbing, and I enjoy paddling out, paddling in circles, paddling in the wrong direction, and about everything you could think of an amateur paddler to do. Even managed to get tossed in the water. Overall, it is a great and fun experience.
So being on the water, kept me wanting to have something to have on the water. So a week or so ago, I entertained the thought of Kayak’s again.
It was really a “spur of the moment” decision, but I went ahead and bought one.
It is a 13 foot touring Kayak, with an adjustable skeg. I purchased all the other needed gear to “safely” kayak, such as a new PFD, pump, paddle float, tether, and of course, a paddle. Oh, and a way to transport it on top of my pickup, so I bought the Yakima EvenKeel system to transport it.
When looking at Kayak’s, one of the things I really didn’t pay attention to, was paddles.
Oh my, those can get spendy.
In fact, after purchasing the rest of the needed equipment, I had totaled more in cost of accessories, than I did of the original Kayak Purchase.
Luckily, I had set aside a bit of money for my Birthday this year, so I already had a good base to start with.
As mentioned, it is a 13 foot touring Kayak. I am one of those people who have absolutely no problem in buying “Last years Colors” on clearance, which is exactly what I did.
40% off on the Kayak brought it down to a manageable price for me to pull the trigger on it.
I went ahead and had it shipped to my parents in Oregon since I was heading down there anyways, and it meant I didn’t have to fiddle with trying to figure out and adjust the carrier pads in my complex’s parking lot.
Also, they have a pond that would give me a chance to figure out exactly how sturdy I felt in the thing. Everyone tells me I should probably get some formal instruction, and they are probably right, but I like to give everything a shot.
After being comfortable with entering and exiting the Kayak (which I practiced in the pond, as it is not really big enough to get a good feel for it), I went ahead and went up to Lost Lake on Saturday and Sunday.
Both days I really enjoyed myself. Just paddling out in the water, having some time to myself, playing with the skeg depth, feathering on the paddle, and just overall enjoying myself.
I do have video, which I need to get edited down to a manageable youtube length video (as well as be able to upload it in a timely manner from my parents slow DSL connection).
This weekend I will be heading out again, this time with my friend Beige who also owns a Kayak.
I want to spend some time practicing self rescue (which I realize I should have worked on prior to going out in the middle of a big lake, but oh well), and again, just enjoy myself.
I did get some other things accomplished this last weekend as well.
I did bring my XT225 down in the back of my pickup.
As I was taking it out of the back of my pickup, I noticed I had a couple broken spokes, and am glad that I grabbed my spare spokes before I left.
Saturday afternoon I spent doing some maintenance on the XT. Broken spokes along with their nipples were replaced, adjusted valves and changed the oil.
I took a nice ride on Sunday. I left Hood River after spending the morning at Lost Lake in my kayak around 11:30. I took the long way to The Dalles, crossing over the hills on some back roads, dropped into Moiser, and followed State Road to Marsh Cutoff and then over to Rowena and on to The Dalles.
Had some Lunch at Canton Wok, fueled up, and crossed over into Washington.
Went up to Lyle, followed Canyon Road to Glenwood, went up to Trout Lake, and back down to Northwestern Lake, before heading back across the bridge in Hood River and home.
Made for a wonderful afternoon of riding, and besides my 2×4 of a seat, I felt very refreshed.
I plan on a couple days of riding come the end of this month. I have a buddy from Redmond who will be coming down here to Oregon for a couple days, and we are going to spend some time exploring the back roads and forest roads in the mountains. We used to come down every year on our sport bikes, spending time riding the various twisty roads in the Columbia River Gorge region, a little outing we would call the “South of the Border” run, for being south of the Washington Border.
The last year we did it, was in 2009, as I got rid of my R6 in the winter of 2010 to buy my KLR and have some money for my Alaska Trip.
Outside of that, I still plan on doing a trip down south (Utah, Nevada, California) sometime in September, but we will see where things are at that time.
Other than that, I’ll try and get some pictures and video up at a later time. I have a new ContourHD video camera, so I’ve been dinking around with that as well.
Until Next Time
Edit: A video! Just some 5 to 15 second cuts of the first half of video being on the lake