Lake Conroe has been persistently naughty. Since nobody else seemed to be taking responsibility for its misbehavior, we took matters into our own hands yesterday and gave it a good spanking. I paddled it until I got blisters.
I think this will need to be done much more often, since I don’t think the lake has learned its lesson yet. On the other hand, I learned a few – interactive photo-map and details below…
All told, we paddled nearly 9 miles (the return trip isn’t on the map). We’re using a handsome wooden tandem kayak that my father built, which doesn’t suck. Some random things I learned:
- Though “untrained” and somewhat out of shape, I can comfortably maintain a speed of about 3.5mph for long periods of time.
- With the help of my Lovely Assistant paddling in front, we can “sprint” at up to around 6.5mph
- I can paddle for longer than I thought I’d be able to and I’m not as sore today as I was afraid I’d be, so I guess I haven’t gotten totally sedentary. It still felt like good exercise, though.
- Exploring is fun. (Actually, I knew this already but it’s nice to be reminded once in a while).
- It’s easier to get in and out of the kayak off of a dock than I was afraid it would be, which is good since most of the area seems to be bulkheaded (i.e. no nice smooth shore to pull up or push off from).
- Next time, bring a lot more to drink, as well as plenty of snack food so as to prevent discomfort due to too much blood in my sugarstream.
- Paddling from one part of the lake to another, especially towards the southern end of the lake, will take longer than expected due to the need to stay nearer the shore to avoid getting in the path of partying speedboaters and jetskiers (this is probably less of an issue if one goes north into the National Forest area of the lake).
- I need to do this more often.
I may need to Do Something about the seat so my butt doesn’t fall asleep on longer excursions. I also need to rig up pockets on my lifejacket, and maybe consider adding some kind of flag or something to the kayak, just to improve its visibility to motorboats. We didn’t actually have any problems with motorboats at all this time around – I’m just thinking ahead. In any case, at least I also got to play a bit with mapping and photography while I was busy exploring and exercising.