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  • Peggy Simonsen

Wild and Tame Kayaking

As I wrote in Wandering the World, kayaking is one of my favorite ways to be on the water. I seek opportunities whenever I can to kayak, whether on a smooth lake as I recently did with my ski club, or on oceans or wild rivers. I wrote about kayaking in Glacier Bay, Alaska up to the base of calving glaciers, and in the bayous of Costa Rica. The most strenuous kayaking was on the Colorado River upstream to the Hoover Dam with friends who were expert kayakers. We later learned that we started out just as the most water was released from the dam for downstream users, so we were paddling against a strong surge. We camped on the shore overnight and found that It was much easier the next day paddling downstream back to our starting point!

Some other unique kayaking adventures were on Lake Khuvsgul in Mongolia on the Siberian border, in Lake Superior out to see the Pictured Rocks National Seashore that can only be seen from the lake, or on Isle Royale paddling silently watching the loons diving. We also kayaked in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington, and on the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand. One unsuccessful attempt was on the Atlantic shore of Tobago just north of the South American coast. My friend Barb and I were trying to get into the kayak on shore with a huge surf coming in. We thought once we got out a few feet we would be fine, but the waves kept knocking the kayak around as we tried to get in. After several attempts, we gave up and snorkeled instead.

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