When Clay reported to Fort Drum, New York many moons ago, we ended up choosing Sackets Harbor, New York to be our home as young twenty-something newlyweds. For three years, we lived a few hundred yards from the Black River Bay, which is feeds into Lake Ontario. We absolutely adored living in the little resort town and took full advantage of living on the water. We purchased kayaks, made friends with a couple who owned a boat, and didn’t let too many days go by without being on the water in some form or another.
~ Lake Ontario, New York 2007 ~
When we moved to Raleigh, North Carolina we decided to store our kayaks at Clay’s parents, who live outside of Wilmington. When visiting, we’d take them into the Cape Fear River and keep our eyes open for alligators. Our kayaks remain in North Carolina to this day because once our son arrived into our world and the Army sent us to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, it just seemed easier store them near a water source we knew we’d visit a lot.
~ Cape Fear River, North Carolina in 2009 ~
So for the past seven years, we’ve only used our kayaks when visiting Clay’s parents. However, that doesn’t mean we’re not above renting kayaks when we travel.
~ Crystal River, Michigan 2012 ~
We’ve kayaked down the Crystal River in Glen Arbor, Michigan.
~ Long Bay, St. Thomas, USVI 2014 ~
And we’ve gone out at night on clear-bottomed kayaks in the Virgin Islands.
~ Lake Lanier, Georgia 2015 ~
Over the years, we’ve cut it close with storms.
And we’ve spent hours upon hours together on the water. It’s our happy place. I think I like it so much because it really is a great analogy for life. Kayaking is fun. It can be hard. And there will be times that you are so tired that you just want to stop paddling and coast. Just like life. Kayaking can be peaceful. It can be exciting. And it can be scary. So pretty much – kayaking is life.
~ Lake Lanier, Georgia 2017 ~
My parents have a couple of kayaks at their place on Lake Lanier, Georgia. So when we visit, we’ve taken the kids out on the kayaks there to expose them to the sport and get them excited to be on the water. We thought about grabbing our kayaks from North Carolina last time we were stationed in the Washington DC area but the kids were really young and then the Army sent us to Kansas and then Texas – it just seemed easier to leave them there.
~ Potomac River, Virginia 2018 ~
But guess what? We’re back in Northern Virginia. And our once-tiny kids grew and they’re not so tiny anymore. In fact, they’re both fully capable of using an oar and manning the front seat in a double kayak. Needless to say, Clay and I are thrilled.
We took the kids to Fountainhead Regional Park this past Sunday and rented two double kayaks. We foolishly forgot our life vests at home so we had to rent those too (womp womp). We managed to get an hour of kayaking in before thunderstorms rolled in.
We hope to pick up our kayaks in North Carolina soon and bring them home. They are single kayaks but the wells are big enough for the kids to sit with us but we will likely eventually trade them in for two double kayaks. Because a family the kayaks together, stays together.