vacation: post four.

6 Jun
Really, my whole reason for traveling to Grand Marais for vacation was to go kayaking.  One might call it a bucket list item for me; I’ve wanted to go kayaking for a long time and have never found the friends or the opportunity to do it.  Today, I went sea kayaking on Lake Superior and I survived.  I didn’t even tip over or make a gigantic fool of myself.
The more I thought about it prior, the dumber I realized this plan was.  My first time kayaking to be on frigid, choppy Lake Superior?  Really, Lindsay?  Did you think this through at all?  Maybe not the greatest plan of attack.  But Stone Harbor advertised that this half-day trip was suited for beginners.  deep breath.  Okay, that’s me.  Let’s do this.
I was fearful going into it.  Nervous.  I was worried I would tip over.  I was worried I would be completely uncoordinated or not able to get in and out of the kayak with grace.  I was worried the guide would be cute and I would get flustered and dumb because of it.
The first two worries didn’t happen.  The third did.
This is quite literally what happened – 
I arrived at the outfitter and checked in at the desk.  I began filling out the waiver/medical info and the dude behind the desk said Phil would be my guide and he was off getting things ready.  He hasn’t lost anyone yet, dude said jokingly.  I’m writing on the clipboard and a guy appears next to me, talking to the dude behind the desk.  Dude behind the desk directs my attention and says, Lindsay, this is Phil.  He’ll be your guide.
I look up, shake Phil’s hand, and my inner monologue seriously mutters, Shit.  A redhead.  
I’m a sucker for redheads.  And this one was absolutely adorable.*  
There were two other ladies on this trip.  We met up with them, walked out to the back of the building, and put on the equipment we needed – wetsuits [gross.], windbreakers, PFDs, and a spray skirt.  There is no question that I looked like a complete moron in pants too tight.  We went to the beach and learned how to sit in a kayak, how to get in and out, how to paddle, and how to attach the spray skirt [which is probably the hardest part of it all].  Phil adjusts the foot peddles inside my kayak awkwardly while I’m still sitting in it [when you sit in a kayak, you don’t sit with your legs flat on the bottom of the boat.  there are peddles to rest your feet on and pads to put your knees against while bent.] and then pushes me out to sea.
I was completely freaked out.  There were waves.  It made me sway.  I really, really didn’t want to tip [just like everyone else ever].  Was the rhythm of it all going to make me seasick?  Could I really do this?  But then … it was okay.  Gradually, I got the hang of it and it was lovely.
Artist’s Point
We paddled around Artist’s Point and continued on the water for a couple hours.  We stopped along a rocky beach for a brief break; a break needed more to stretch the legs than for the arms.  [I felt like my arms didn’t get nearly as tired as they do when canoeing.]  It was at this point I really had to go to the bathroom but I was wearing a frickin’ wetsuit and there were no bathrooms in sight.  We ate energy bars, I drank no additional water, and headed back out, in and out of the harbor, and back to where we started.
I survived sea kayaking.  I faced a fear and lived to tell the story.  I label this day a success.  
* You know how they say everyone likes the sound of their own name and to make a good impression with someone new, you should use their name frequently in conversation?  Phil knows this technique.  He was so personable and good at the name game.  He also applauded my graduation from seminary  [and I applaud him for knowing the word seminary and that that’s where pastors go for school] and seemed … impressed? … that I was a pastor.  Maybe not all hope is lost.
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