Paddling


The skies were blue and Dillon Reservoir was glassy calm when Joel, BenJammin’, and I put in just off of the Dam Road. Two teenage girls sat on rocks, sharing an MP3 player and dangling their feet in the water. A couple sat in camp chairs, their faces deep within the shadows of their full brim hats. They were so still I wondered if they were manikins. Or perhaps coin operated. I had left all my change in the car.

I clambered down into the pit of the Kayak and took off chasing the boys who had just set forth in the canoe. I quickly zigzagged in their general direction. The faster I tried to go, the further askew my trajectory. If the previous three days taught me anything it was that sometimes it isn’t about just muscling through.

I took a moment to Soul-Osmose. Recalling that adventure is in the voyage, not the destination. Breathe. Bob on ripples. Squint into the sun until my freckles tickle. Be.

Upon returning to real time, I took up the paddle and stroked slow and consistent, gliding  an only barely lop-sided course out amoungst the islands.

We weaved between the smaller islands, dodging boulders which stood out tall in the shallows. Well explored, all of the islands were well charted and bore cairns built out of pure enjoyment. There is a magic in that cold mountain water. Trouble and consternation bleed out through the end of the paddle and sink to silent depths.

We then put in and staked claim to a choice island and cove. But then some family paddled up, so we shared. Our first order of business was to explore the parameters and determine the natural resources supported on our new stake. Along one shore we discovered a bountiful supply of Skipping Rocks (One of mine skipped 7 times).

We then officiated a first game of the new Territorial Sport, Rocky Mountain Stick Ball. When the gaggles of bright red rental kayaks cleared out of the way, the pitcher would toss a small rock to the batter who would wail it into the postcard view and pull a Babe Ruth stance.

At one point a couple of sea sailing scallywags took to our port and a fair volley of pirate lingo was exchanged at which point they set tail to wind and sought their fortune elsewhere.

We came to realize our excursion was not outfitted to hold the territory long term. The giant bag of Pepper Sunflower Seeds we had provisioned with had taken a disproportionate toll on our limited drinking water supply. Bidding the island adeu and promising to return for a game of capture the flag, we set off into choppy waters.

Dodging from the shelter of one island to another we skipped back to roughly the area we had put in. It is funny how differently the shore looks from the water. Joel kayaked much more quickly than BenJammin’ and I could paddle so he got to shore first and found where the car was not. Then we found where it was. And we went home. And had Root Beer Floats. And discussed the upcoming Full Moon.

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