do not underestimate our great inland sea Lake Superior. You may know about the ferocious storm that took the Edmund Fitzgerald down. You may have experienced the lake-induced temperature change when driving into Duluth. Maybe you've even swam in the frigid waters or watched the waves crash upon the shore.
But let me tell you, unless you have actually been on the water, with nothing but water for any reasonable distance around you, rolling waves lifting you UP and then down, then UP again (repeatedly), then you do not know the power of this lake; named so well, Superior.
I was determined to try some new paddling. Big Water paddling we call it. Last weekend we set out on a 2-day trip to one of the Apostle Islands. Being that it was only about 3 miles out, I thought it would be an easy paddle. I mean, we've paddled over 10 miles in one day before, what's 3? Famous last words. We had a stiff west wind beating us up for the whole 3 miles on the first day. The waves were just a nuisance, as they were choppy and spashy. The trip back to the mainland the next day was what sealed the deal for me. No more Big Water for this gal, river kayaking is for me. Give me white water or gravel beds. Give me shore lines that are a stone's throw across. No long, skinny kayak in my future plans thank-you-very-much.
Our guides told us on the mainland that the crossing we made to get back was some of the most technical paddling they'd done with clients. No wonder I was woozy. I think I would have kissed the shore once I got out of my boat if it weren't for that it was 95 degrees and the sand was fire-hot.
Now, I would like to point out... I'm not ruling out doing another trip like this. Camping with your boat is awesome! Taking off to a remote place with nothing but limited gear, food, my boat, and a paddling buddy sounds like a slice of heaven. I'm just going to have to practice my rescue skills and do more cold water paddling. As for the waves... I'm at a loss. I guess you just keep paddling for all you're worth.
The whole time I was paddling I kept saying, "God, please get us all to shore, just get us all to shore." And of course He was faithful in His answer. He sure has a way of putting it all in perspective. I'm just this little speck, on this large body of water, pretty much powerless if something nasty comes my way. But with Him, I can make it. He cares for me, and even though life's waves come as little splashy nuisances or even big rolling upheavels, He cares for me and I just need to trust in Him and His love for me. He'll see me to the shore.
Here's a link to a few pictures of the trip. I still need to have my water camera developed, and the pics scanned in. I'll post those as soon as I can.
Sunday, July 23