A few years ago Daniel and I made the decision to stop buying the girls birthday gifts. Enough barbie dolls, stuffed animals, and clothes they would [most likely] never get around to wearing because they already had so many. They still receive "gifts" from the grandparents and extended family so we thought it would be great to start giving them experiences on their birthdays. This year Ali chose to go kayaking for her 14th birthday.
We had a choice in which of the scourges we wanted to take. There was a two mile, five mile, and a seven mile. Of course we chose to try the longest, figuring if we reached any of the other points and were too tired or having difficulty we could pull out of the river and call for a ride. In any case - we rented one tandem (two man) kayak and borrowed the other two solos (one man) from the pastor at church. The operation we rented the tandem from took their boat along with Daniel and Ali to our starting point while Sydney and I picked-up the other two and headed to meet them. Getting into these boats was a pretty precarious situation - luckily Daniel had been kayaking at the coast prior, so he [kind-of] knew what he was doing
And she did great for being only seven! Once Ali got the hang of it she did an awesome job too!
As if it wasn't humbling enough making our way, for the first time, on uncharted waters...no, a local news station showed up, interviewed Daniel, and shot a quick video for posterity's sake! Only one problem, Daniel goofed up and announced ON PUBLIC TELEVISION that it was Ali's 13th birthday... We all know what it's like to be a teenager and be introduced ONE YEAR YOUNGER (urgh ) Of course, life as she knew it seemed to come to a cruel, bitter ending. Not only was it just announced that she was turning 13, but then she thought the news team was taping at the same time she did the straddle splits getting into the boat, almost falling into the water. Her "cool-ness" flashed before her face like a bolt of lightening. But as it turned out [and she was quite relieved] they didn't show that portion.
We did, in fact, make it the entire seven miles and it definitely had its turbulence (quite literally). Since we have been in a drought in the area - the river's levels are down. There was one point we had to weave in, out, and about several fallen trees and one in particular the bottoms of the boats drug on so Daniel had to climb out of his kayak, stand on one of the fallen trees, and push each of us over the tree. That was fun!
There was another time we entered into some "rapids" while Sydney was in the solo kayak and it turned her around to the point she went through the shoot backwards. It shook her up a bit, but after it was all over she began laughing and asking if she could do it again. Kids.
I would have liked to have gotten more pictures, but the camera was ruined. We put it in a ziplock bag and somehow moisture leaked in.