Monday, July 30, 2012

Shut Out

I have to admit that when I'm watching the young woman trying to catch her balance on the balance beam, I might lean a little to the left in my chair and twist my shoulders to try to help her.  It is very hard to watch sometimes. 

At this hour, I had to turn it off.  Why does NBC keep it going so late into the night?  They make it very clear in their presentation that it's all about the money, keeping us glued to the television though none of their programming is live.  I did finally turn it off a few minutes ago when they tried to drag it into the wee hours by telling me about the ravens at the Queen's tower.  I just wanted to see the end of the women's gymnastic finals. 

The Americans quest was heartbreaking.  I am appalled that the world champion, Jordyn Wieber, could be shut out of the individual all-around finals by 0.233 points.  She was fourth among all of the athletes for God's sake.  It goes against the spirit of the Olympics not to let the finest athletes compete, regardless of their country of origin.  Ms. Wieber was robbed.

And could the media just shut it regarding Michael Phelps?  A thud, a dud, barely making it?  You have got to be kidding.  Are they all smoking the pot that helped Phelps lose his luster?  During the relay today, Phelps gained a full body length ahead of any other swimmer in just one lap of the pool.  The ad-mongering networks might not like him because he lost his place on the Wheaties box, but he's still a great contender.  And at least when I watch swimming, I don't have to twist and rebalance in my seat. 

In our house, we've finally come up with a compromise for Nick who doesn't enjoy most of the games.  He gets to look at video of his favorites online, archery, shooting, and fencing.  We offered that he could watch the television in the other room, but he wanted to be in here with us.  The cool thing is that he's been outside more this week, practicing with his recurve bow, since he found out that archery is an Olympic sport.  Is that all it takes?  He's not quite ready to be invited though.  He's lost all but two arrows in the brush behind his target. 

We didn't spend much time at home today watching the Olympics.  We had to try out kayaks to see if we could find one that was comfortable for me to paddle on our vacation.  We're paddling!  This is such a cool anniversary present.  There were so many variables.  Could we board the cat or would they be booked?  Would we find a kayak that we could rent for the week?   Would Nick like it or view it as too much work?  Would Teddy stay in the boat or launch out of it at odd times?  Will they run out of permits on Ross Lake?  Will we get both the kayak and the canoe on top of the truck without having to spend $800 on a roof rack?

Not only did I find a kayak that I enjoyed paddling, but Nick loved it too.  It will be great for him to be master of his own boat sometimes during the trip.   I want him to love this, to get some confidence while building the muscles required.  He was like a duck in this thing.  I couldn't believe it!  His hat blew off in the wind and he was able to maneuver himself right next to it to retrieve it.  Well, okay.  Distance might be a challenge, but we'll be able to switch him into the canoe when he gets tired in the kayak.  We're only going 7 1/2 miles a day for two of the days and who knows on the middle day.  That day, we'll be able to decide how far to go or whether to paddle or not. 

The other big question was Teddy.  He's never been in a boat, so after checking out the kayaks and laying down our deposit, we headed off to Rattlesnake Lake with Teddy and our canoe.  He was a natural.  He didn't complain when I put Indiana's old life jacket on him.  He didn't jump out except once when we were close to shore and he wanted to play with a dog he met there just a little longer.  He even sat in the middle of the boat.  I hope things don't change when we get the gear stowed and he has to lie on top of a Duluth pack.  (Don't get me started about the Duluth packs.  At least I'm not portaging in one this time since the long portage is covered by a service.)

Oh, it was beautiful on the lake today, though the skies were overcast.  The water was that bright blue-green, so clearly indicating that it was not rainwater but melted snow.  The mountain reflected on the water and the osprey were camouflaged by the grey weather.  The best part is that Nick decided to take over my spot as bowman and he was ecstatic.  He practiced his draw and cross-draw strokes.  His regular stroke is pretty good, but he stops paddling pretty often.  I'm wondering how tired Mike will be after Nick climbs into the canoe and doesn't paddle.  I expect this to happen at about the four mile mark.  At five miles, we get out for the portage and after that, we only have two and a half miles until we get to the island.  We're going to pick up our boat on Tuesday.  Nick, Adrian, and I are going out on the water again then.  I'm hoping these little excursions will help Nick build up, but I know he's going to be sore.  This is his first time paddling for real on a short trek. 

Now, I can think of a couple more variables.  It's supposed to rain on Thursday.  Around here, there's always the possibility of hypothermia, plus Ross lake water is frigid.  We're packing our wetsuits just in case.  We also have to see what Teddy does when water comes into the boat.  Ross Lake is notorious for waves kicking up in the afternoon.  I hope he can stay as calm for that part as he did in the boat today.  The last problem?  Nick is in his bed coughing.  Will he get sick and force a complete shut-out from our trip? 

I hope not. 

Twenty years ago, we took our dog, Indiana, to Maine and had the honeymoon we always wanted.  We paddled for six days on the Allagash waterways.  It was such an amazing trip, we took some friends on it again the next year.  It was wonderful all over again. 

I really want to have another honeymoon.  I'm telling you, it felt like that on the water today.  It really did. 

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment