I'm in Delft! This post is not about kayaking...
Bridget spontaneously decided to come visit for 2 weeks after her work cruise in Romania was cancelled. The Netherlands is close to Romania, right? She arrived a day after me and we've been exploring the city of Delft together. Of course, our first inclination was to get out of the city, so we made plans to visit Texel Island, which is one in a string of barrier islands (the Frisian Islands) along the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark...
It's a sad day for Big Purple. She's been winterized, thanks to a giant waterproof painter sheet and my step brother, Antoine, to help wrap. Big Purple is now a 16.5' black burrito and will gaze longingly at the pond next to our house in Boston, for the next year:
We've had some epic times together recently, but now it's time for me to do a year of terrestrial wandering in the Netherlands! I was going to say "drier wandering" but then reminded myself of the weather forecast. It's even hard to say "terrestrial" when most of the country is below sea level. Hey, maybe it won't be that different.
Flight departs for Iceland this evening, where my mom and stepdad will stay for the week. We'll go look at some puffins for a few hours before I get on my flight to Amsterdam!
This weekend I met up with Maya at her grandpa's lake house on Owasco Lake where we spent the day kayaking with her brother Kiran and sister Mallika. We launched from the lake house (east side of the lake) and paddled north. Back in 2010 I paddled around the southern half of Owasco, so much of this territory was new to me.
Yesterday evening turned into Rough Riders Reunion 2014. In the wise (and paraphrased) words of Mike Peet: "Paddling like it's 2009!" The turn-out was fantastic (26 boats!), and the waves were apparently the largest of the summer. It was a perfect evening for rock gardening and practicing towed rescues. A bunch of the original Rough Riders were present, including Jeff H, Mike, Steven, Dan, Jeff B x 2, Rita & Garnetta, Sue, Ann-Marie, Nick, Dave, and I. It was also fun to meet some newer (i.e. in the last 3 years, so maybe not so new) members. Matt from Brooklyn was in the area for a couple weeks and recently bought a boat from BayCreek. I'll be in NYC on Monday to visit friends, and he provided some helpful tips for kayaking around the City...
Last night we crossed the Eastern/Central time zone and realized it was much later expected, so we pulled over and camped in the Squirrel Rapids Picnic Area, halfway between the Apostle Islands (WI) and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (MI). We were up early to the sound of lawn mowing all around us. After a quick stop at a farmstand for veggies and breakfast, we drove across much of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (the UP) on Route 28.
At Pictured Rocks we attempted to find a campsite at the Twelvemile Beach Campground (I'm pretty sure this is where Marika and I stayed 3 years ago), but all the sites were full (on a Monday!). Instead, we headed a bit further east to the Upper Hurricane River campground and snagged a big site where we cooked up an extravagant veggie-full burrito lunch.
There are 21 Apostle Islands in Lake Superior (on the southwest corner), which were named by French missionaries after the 12 apostles (they clearly couldn't see all 21 islands). The islands were formed by wind wave erosion between ice ages, and were glaciated repeatedly after that. Terraces and wave cut platforms suggest that water levels used to be higher in Lake Superior. Of particular interest are the sea caves found on many of the islands. The Devils Island Formation geology is a red sandstone that formed from rivers depositing sediment thousands of years ago. The sea caves form when waves erode and undercut the base of the cliffs.
Early morning #5 billion. After a near miscommunication mishap with the Bismarck baggage agents, I successfully picked up (stole? it was so easy...) Jeff’s luggage before heading east to Fargo. We arrived within a few minutes of each other and booked it across the state of Minnesota in an attempt to arrive at the kayak shop by 4pm. 9 hours later, we arrived at Living Adventures Inc kayak rentals in time to pick up Pierre, the yellow Canadian Current Designs Storm. In Bayfield, we grocery shopped and discovered that Wisconsinites don't eat hummus or pitas (disaster!!!). We noted the intense humidity to which neither of us is accustomed. We went for a 2 hour evening paddle, launching from the Apostle Islands Marina and paddling south along the peninsula to Pikes Bay. The sandstone cliffs here are nearly vertical and bright red.
After a quick bagel breakfast with Devin and Ginny, during which Devin attempted to make espresso with a broken machine (no luck, resulting in another steamer), I hopped in the car and headed east: destination Bismarck. I only made a brief stop in the Badlands (Medora, ND), where the gas station attendants were amused by my inability to operate an old-fashioned gas pump.
After a work-related conference call on the side of the road in Missoula, I drove the 3 hours to Bozeman. Devin was home from his hike and we went for another “hike” along the trails and hills near his mom’s (Ginny's) house. On the way home we stopped at the new Bozeman Public Library, where Ginny works, but she had already headed home.
When we returned, Ginny was starting some dinner and together we sipped a delicious Argentinian white sparkling wine called “New Age,” which is apparently very popular in Argentina. Ginny made a fantastic dinner of butternut squash soup and stir fry with veggies from her garden. We sat in the backyard listening to the adjacent babbling brook and admired the view of the “M” on the side of the mountains (there’s a similar one in Missoula). After dinner, Devin and I walked to downtown Bozeman where the weekly "Music On Main" was just wrapping up, and the streets were filled with a rainbow of teenagers, college kids, and the old ones like us. Devin was almost run down by a fleet of 4 police cars when we weren't paying attention. In accordance with our elderly status, we went to the coffee shop and I ordered chamomile tea while Devin ordered a peppermint steamer. Back at the house, we were greeted with ice cream, berries, and delicious gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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