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Feb 11

The Joy of Paddling

paddling  Very little gives me as much joy as paddling. Just the ability to connect with nature is priceless. The difference between a paddle and an engine is that kayaks or canoes will not put out pollution. A canoe can glide over the top of shallow waters when a propeller would be torn apart by a lack of clearance. While in a kayak you can stream down the rapids with ease while it may take a team of people to navigate just a small aluminum fishing boat down the same river.

When you are paddling a canoe or kayak down a river there is a sense of closeness with Mother Nature. If you take your canoe or kayak down the same stream often enough you can notice the changing environment with the seasons. You may be watching an otter or beaver swimming nearby and the creature would never know. This could be why so many hunters own canoes and why so many fishers own kayaks. Paddling is a great way for the hunter to sneak across the water without scaring the ducks off.

Trying to creep into your favorite fishing spot doesn’t work well when you are roaring down stream dripping oil. An engine puts out many harmful fumes and gases when it is in use where a paddle never hurts anything. When you refuse to leave a carbon foot print with your motor boat opportunities come to you. Waldo Lake in Oregon is the only lake that banned all engines. As a result of only canoes and kayaks being used the water has remained the most pristine lake. Remember that you are paying for the gas the boat uses and the oil it leaks too.

You skim the water with stealth and ease. Over shallow gravel bars and around sharp, narrow bends that no boat could follow. While the fishing boat is stuck in the bay you get to creep up stream in your canoe to see if the grass really is greener on the other side. Blazing down the roaring Rogue River Rapids flips metal boats and smashes them on the rocks while you swiftly sway in and out of breaks with relative ease. Have you ever tried to load a boat onto a trailer by yourself? One person can easily prepare and store their canoe or kayak alone without straining.

One person can easily maneuver a canoe or kayak with just one oar. I have been in fishing boats when the motor died and we had to paddle to the dock. In the boat there can be 4 people trying to paddle and nobody can sync their strokes so the boat just spins circles. Nothing is worse than seeing the perfect pond but cant access it because your boat is larger than the gap under the tree.  After just minutes of practice even a youngster of only 12 years old can take on a paddle solo mission.

Having fun can be as easy as paddling! If you just feel like viewing the shore from a distance or taking pictures of secret creeks unknown to your buddies just jump in a canoe. Kayaking the rapids or rolling on the sea is great ways to play. Any age on any water is always a good time. When you can sneak up on the world from your canoe or kayak there is an opportunity to take the path less traveled. Paddling lets you see areas of the world that are otherwise not accessible by car or even foot. With a large community of likeminded adventures leaves endless opportunities for outdoor exploration.