- Soon after, another kayaker approaches us using a Greenland style paddle. We discover the Greenland kayaker’s name is Mike; he lives on the lake, and a friend made his paddle. Nena and Mike discuss paddles, talk about Lake Ontario and the Rough Riders, discuss Hudson River paddling. They discover they have a mutual friend: Dennis Mike, Facebook enthusiast. Mike writes Nena’s name on his boat. [This seems odd in retrospect. Maybe his boat is a giant whiteboard.] Nena claims she will someday make her own kayak. Whether this is true or not is yet to be seen. [It will happen some day!] Kiran, Mallika, and Maya contribute nothing to the conversation. We don't even know how far away we are from our own cottage.
- Mike, finding the latter three kayakers’ skills and speed wanting, departs after exchanging names with Nena. [No silly! He decided to turn around when we were going to check out the creek!]
- We decide that instead of kayaking around the curve and landing at the shore beneath Tom Thumb, the most famous ice cream shop in all of the Lake Owasco region, we will stop before the curve and explore an adjoining creek.
- Some brief rough waters attack Maya’s boat and fill it with water, the first sign that our trip is quickly devolving into a series of hardships and anguish. We decide that we are going to continue an additional “unit” north. Nena has begun to describes distances in "units" in order to militarize our supposedly fun trip and make us regret our decision to join her on this endeavor. [ :) ]
- We reach our destination and curve right into a creek area [Dutch Hollow Brook on Burtis Point], where we are greeted by two older gentlemen, anchored in their rowboat, fishing, and smoking the reefer. They greet us, and we try not to disturb the fish as we sail past gracefully (Maya hits a rock with her boat, and she and Mallika fall back, complaining about heat, hunger, thirst, the need for ice cream, etc.).
- We take a quick break on the creek, past the two friendly gentlemen. Exhausted and craving hot dogs, Maya and Mallika rest while Kiran and Nena explore the remainder of the creek. We discover Nena has filled her water bottle with toxic tap water rather than purified thermos water. Is this the beginning of the end for our ill-fated crew?
- Nena and Kiran return approximately five minutes later, claiming to have reached rapids. We doubt the veracity of their tale. [Rapids may have been an overstatement.] The crew decides to turn around and hit the lake again. We pass the two fishermen again, and they inquire after the stableness of Nena’s boat, Big Purple. “Your boat, it’s different than… that yellow boat. I think I have that yellow boat. Just the way your boat is… it’s very… narrow. Is it hard to balance?”
- We reach the main body of the lake, where we are despondent to remember that we have to kayak back the way we came. Famished, dehydrated and suffering from heat stroke, we make our way back. As we pass a green house, we see Mike. Somehow, he catches up with us in his kayak (we are traveling slowly due to aforementioned heat stroke). We learn that he, too, lives on Wide Waters. He offers Maya a lighter paddle and she declines, but he insists, so she accepts. He and Kiran and Nena chat.
- Mallika flounders toward the back of the group. Maya splashes water on herself in a feeble attempt to revive her senses.
- When we finally reach the lake house, Maya and Mallika jump into the water. We return to the cottage for some iced tea, kosher hot dogs, yellow rice, tortilla chips, salsa and corn on the cob.
- The three siblings are traumatized and vow never to kayak again. Meanwhile, Nena plans her next kayaking trip.
Date: Sunday, August 10th, 2014
Distance: 8.5 miles
Duration: 3 hours
Scroll past the map for lots of non-kayaking adventures!
It was a typical day at the shop. Charlie was there paddling around his SUP. I made 2 trips Wegmans - the first with Jeff to pick up BBQ foods for dinner and the second with Morgan to return recyclables and unsatisfactory baby diapers. Morgan was working as hard as ever, even though her baby is due in 3 weeks. She even led a 2 hour nature tour in the evening.
In the evening we all returned to Dave & Morgan's house in Rochester where we met up with Pat, Mike, and Mindy. Dave grilled up some chicken with his favorite marinade (State Fair Chicken Sauce), Pat sauteed the squash and zucchini to a very soft consistency (a.k.a. Jello Squash), and I made a Caprese salad. Mindy and Mike brought some amazing desserts and a spicy salad. It was quite the feast!
The next morning we were all back at the shop by 9am. We said some sad goodbyes and took goofy photos before I headed off to Syracuse to visit Marika.
Next, we went for a short bike ride along the shore of Onondaga Lake, on a newly completed bike trail around the north end of the lake. My butt reminded me that it does not like bike seats, and we soon turned around when we hit a patch of rough pavement that was being re-paved.
Marika had to work at 6am on Sunday, so I slept in before driving to Owasco Lake to visit Maya. See the kayaking post above for our day at the lake. In the evening Maya and I drove to NY, battling traffic much of the way. Maya's new apartment on 105th street is very cute! In the morning I had to move my car, and spent 45 minutes trying to find a new parking spot. I met up with Sam (Cornell friend) at a much-loved bagel shop for breakfast, and we strolled north through Riverside Park catching up. We made a quick stop to tour General Grant's tomb before turning around.
Fast forward a few more hours and I'm finally in Boston, 24 days, 5150 miles, and ~85 hrs of driving later. Off to the Netherlands on Thursday!