Maybe it was spring fever. Maybe it was my crazy work schedule and the desperate desire for warm weather for outdoor adventure. But when asked if I wanted to go for an evening kayak on the Buffalo River I believe I said “hell yes.”
So technically this wasn’t a trail. It was a waterway. But again, the emerging theme of my Hike 52 project to get out on a trail every week is adaptability. It’s about creating the time and space to do the things which bring me joy. It’s about commitment to the process. And more and more it’s about letting go of outcomes. So I wasn’t on a trail. But I was out in an urban natural setting. And it was wonderful.
I had never been on the Buffalo River so I went with Scott, launching from a fishing access point on Harlem Road. There were a few people casting their reels and one other person working to get his kayak in the water. “This is like our hidden sanctuary,” the guy had said. And in many ways he was right. Too often we think we need to “go to the trail” and that it requires planning and travel and expense. In reality, there are plenty of place to “get away” just steps away from the traffic jams of Tim Horton’s. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you.
We put in the kayaks and paddled a slow, easy, relaxing journey. Soon we were away from the traffic noise. We saw some birds. Then we saw a beaver. Well first we heard the beaver — a big old splash and a splash again since we probably startled the poor guy.
Our total paddle was about an hour as I suggested we turn around as the skies started to darken and rain drops were in the air.
The big takeaway from this week?
Life happens in the small moments — the ones of stillness, the ones you share with your dearest companions, the ones where you can be fiercely yourself and find that spot of peace in the pit of your soul.
Date: May 6, 2016
Location: Buffalo River
Total distance: n/a
Duration: 1 hour
Weather: 50s, partly clouded
Paddled with: Scott