I'm leaving the old intro here, but adding this- it appears the doves have taken over my blog for their fiction. Just as well, I was doing a piss poor job of updating. They're doing much better.

This blog is infrequently updated, full of incorrect spellings, misused words, and general bad grammar. It started when I was trying to use google+ (which I've since given up on) and discovered there was no character limit for posts. If you've known me a long time, a lot of these stories will be old hat. If you plan to know me for a long time, you'll no doubt hear many of them in person. But, folks seemed to enjoy them, so here they are.

Friday, July 25, 2014

the eighty second story

The original post- This is a drawing of me, towing a mostly sunken kayak with my mom's tiny dog perched on top, with two paddles under my opposite arm. My tent, sleeping pad, food, phone and camera are all in the underwater portion of the boat.

The requested "news at 11" full version-
My mom and I decided to, with no planning whatsoever, do an overnight kayak trip. We looked at a google satellite image of our prospective route, noticed that "well, most of it's doable, I think" and figured we go for it. We packed up our stuff (including a borrowed camping hammock, sleeping bag, and stove for making tea). We went to the grocery and purchased hard cheese, salami, and granola. I had already left my car at the  end point, just in case, and so we drove to the putting in point. The satellite images we thought were ok were on the potomac, and the putting in point was about 500 yards up the Shenandoah from our desired river. This was a mistake. The Shenandoah is rocky. We put in anyway. In the first set of rapids (not bad rapids, maybe class 1) the dog jumped off mom's boat, but I was able to veer aside and scoop her up with the little handle on the back of her tiny dog lifevest. her tiny dog lifevest is super cute.

We had gone about 50 yards.

I handed the dog back, but I'd taken on a little water. We hit the second set of rapids (class 2 or so- challenging, but not scary) I took on more water. we hit a flat area, my mom asked how I was doing, and I joked that I was sinking. Then there were some more little rapids, but, already being low in the water- I took on yet more- and my boat sank. It actually sank. This, by the way, is what a panicking Kest sounds like- normal voice "ah, Mom? Mom, I don't know what to do here. What do I do here, Mom?" My mom, being the awesome person she is, looked over, saw my torso sticking out of the water, and me flapping at the water with my hands, and calmly told me to get out of the boat and tow it to a rock. I did so, and got my feet against said rock, but the current was still fast and I couldn't really pull the boat up, so in a continuation of what a panicked Kest sounds like (still in a normal voice) "ah- if it is possible to do so, could you maybe hurry?". We got the boat up. We dumped it out. We took the electronics out of the drybag that had not kept them dry. I took the batteries out and set all the parts in the sun. We sat there for a few minutes. Mom asked what the plan was. I responded that the plan was that next time I said I thought I was sinking, we were to pull over immediately. Mom decided put the dog's leash on and loop it around her leg, so the little one wouldn't jump out again, as we could no longer count on having me, in the back, be able to scoop her. We repacked, got back in our boats, and continued.

We had gone about 200 yards.

Ahead of us were yet more pretty good rapids, but we were doing better. I was about 4/5 through when I saw mom's boat overturn. I backpaddled long enough to first look for the dog, and then her- both heads were above water, and they were together, but then I was at some real high waves, and there wasn't going to be anything i could do if I went down, so I concentrated on getting through. That done, I turned to my mom, called that I was coming for the dog so she could get her boat, and then I promptly sank again. Mom managed to put the dog and her paddle on a rock, no bigger than three square feet above water, and then she went for her boat. I swam towards the rock, towing my once again sunken boat. I managed to stretch way out and grab a stump on the rock as I was swept past, but I could not pull the boat back up river to get myself onto the rock. Stretched full length, with the boat in one hand and the rock in the other, the dog made the poor decision that I was a better bet, and climbed onto my head.

I need more illustrations. This moment should be illustrated.

Mom had, by now, gotten her boat, and put it on a rock about 20 yards downstream. She shouted that she was coming back to help, and I waited a little, but she clearly was not gonna make it against that current. Finally I just grabbed the dog and let go the rock. But now I've got two paddles under one arm, the dog's leash looped over the other arm, and the hand of said other arm towing the sunken kayak. I can only swim with my feet, i'm wearing not very tight sandals, and the dog REALLY wants to go to shore. The fact of the matter is that the dog's chosen direction, despite her being only ten pounds, is pulling me way off course. So I tried to put her on the small portion of the boat which was above water. Now, it turns out that, if you have no training in such activites, lifting a ten pound struggling weight over your head without losing the two paddles tucked under your arm while treading water in sandals and being swept swept downstream at a fast clip is REALLY hard. By the time I pulled it off I was half drowned and most of the way to mom. I shouted at her that the dog and the boat were her responsibility (she was less than eight feet from them, and I got myself and my paddles to the rock. She caught them, and brought them to the next rock over. We, all three, passed out in the sun.

We had gone no more than 400 yards from the launch.

At this point, The dog is terrified of rapids. I'm nervous of them, what with the sinking. Mom's still good, or at least faking it really well. We discuss whether we will continue or not. Mom says we have no other option so we'd better. I point out that we've gone less than a mile and can walk back to her car. I also point out that we are very nearly to the Potomac, and I think that maybe it will get better after that. We decide to continue on.