Category Archives: kayaking

A Deer Between Two Fears

Smokey Valley Lake in Carter Cave Park, Olive Hill KY
Smokey Valley Lake in Carter Cave Park, Olive Hill KY

On our way home from Carter Caves in Kentucky, my Honey and I both had moments of fear. Each of us had a moment  that the other took care of. My date did not know I protected her from one of her fears and she did not know that she took care of one of mine. In between these rescues we had our favorite fawn sighting.

I kept her from seeing a snake—before going home we stopped to kayak and swim in Smokey Valley Lake. It’s a little 45 acre lake in Carter Cave Park. Just as I was about to help my Honey in the kayak, I spotted a water snake. He was dashing about in a decent sized puddle beside the lake. After her reaction to the falling branch I shared in Happy Hiccups With My Honey, I didn’t think it prudent to let her actually see a snake. So I suggested she get in from the other side of the kayak (with her back to the snake). I kept my eye on the varmint while she took the front seat, shoved off from shore and climbed in my seat behind her…melt down avoided.

Ready to climb in Sunny Delight
Ready to climb in Sunny Delight

Then we found a fawn—We got a rare moment as we were exploring the lake. One of us spotted what looked like a deer in the grass about a football field away. We stopped talking and my Dear put down her oar. I quietly turned the kayak without a splash and inched toward the fawn. For about 20 minutes we crept closer and enjoyed this unusual site. About two yards up on the shore in tall grass we could finally see two ears and a dear little deer face. It was a fawn nestled down where he thought no one could see him. He was out of sight unless you were in a boat. The fawn stayed still until we got within 15 feet of the shore. I guess he finally decided that orange thing out in the water (our two seater kayak named Sunny Delight) might be sneaking up on him. He jumped up and ran for safety.Fawn nesting older

And wore life jackets like diapers—There is something about being out in deep lake water that just gives me the creeps…don’t know why. I didn’t want her to see me struggle and I sure didn’t want to miss time swimming together…so I just jumped in and pretended I wasn’t concerned. What was so cool was that she taught me a trick from her many summers on the lake in Kansas when she was a child. If you flip your life jacket upside down and put your legs through the arm holes you can sit in it. Do this at your own risk, of course, since life jackets are not made to wear like a diaper—but I loved it. We bobbed around in the water and talked for a hour or so. Then we did our best version of a seal flopping up on an iceberg to get out of deep water back in the Kayak.

Kayaking in Smokey Valley Lake Kentucky
Kayaking in Smokey Valley Lake Kentucky

I took her home and put these wonderful memories in the pocket of my mind. So glad to bring them out now and share them here.

Pondering Your Path

Have you found out later that someone rescued you from a fear? I’d love to hear your story.

Happy Hiccups With My Honey

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In yesterday’s blog I shared about our Carter Cave family outing. During those few days there were some other moments worth highlighting.

The first hiccup was when she thought we were being attacked by a bear—We arrived a little ahead of my sister and family and spent some time down by a nearby creek. It was a special romantic time of tender closeness that dating couples try to find. Our bliss was disturbed by a crashing sound in the tree branches about 40 yards away. Wow, my outdoor loving companion thought it was a bear or a mountain lion and had a meltdown. Had she not been so obviously stricken with fear, it would have been funny. I did my best to calm her with the facts about the sounds she heard. Since she is an intelligent thinking woman and she was beginning to trust me already, she latched on to my words as tightly as she had to my ribs. She relaxed as she choose to believe that the wind had worked loose a branch and this chunk of wood made a path for itself as it fell to the ground.

The second hiccup started when I parked in a handicap parking spot—I was so star struck with her by my side that I did not notice the big blue handicap symbol that I parked over top of. Later on in our dating, I got her lost in the woods because of this same power of distraction. I left my truck all night in that spot and should have gotten a ticket. The next morning I pulled out to move to another spot and went the wrong way into a dead end. She was so pleased to have this effect on me that she was amused. On our last day, my level of distraction was even higher. It was 11:00am, an hour past check out, and I had done nothing to even prepare to leave. I might still be standing there if my lovely guest had not asked if I would load her things from her room into the truck. Startled back to reality, I ran to the front desk and asked for leniency. Thankfully the front desk folks were sympathetic and didn’t charge me more money.

Pondering Your Path

Sometimes hiccups aren’t really hiccups—they are just memories that you will cherish along the way. Can you remember a time when you behaved so silly because you had stars in your eyes?

Adjusting to an Injury

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Riding up front in our “Gondola”

Injury—Do you have to stop enjoying the outdoors when one of you gets injured? If the injury isn’t completely dibilitating, maybe not. It’s very important to heal and to protect yourself from making it worse; but maybe…just maybe…you can get creative and still have fun.

Frozen shoulder—Our recent injury happened about 6 months ago when out of the blue, my Honey’s right shoulder lost at least half it’s mobility. This came with a significant almost constant pain. At first we backed off of everything because we didn’t know what caused it or how to find healing. After a few unsuccessful attempts to find a solution, we found great care with a long term solution through Dr. Boles at Exodus Chiropractic. While searching for a medical solution, she had the growing awareness that while her should was healing, it was going to hurt no matter what she did. With this attitude in force we started getting creative so we could still have fun outdoors.

Sleeping injured—with a frozen shoulder as “part of the equipment” we picked a tent site where we would not have to carry our supplies too far. This made it easy to haul a dozen blankets to make a really thick mat for sleeping comfort. She didn’t have to carry anything and we could still sleep under the stars in comfort. It is so important to sleep well under healthy conditions but even more so when you are healing.

Gondola Style Kayaking—The next morning, I took my injured bride to a small lake where we put in our two seater kayak. (Well, I guess I should say, My friend Richard helped me put in the kayak and she watched. She will help me again soon.) Eager to see some beauty, my Honey let me lower her into the front seat of the Kayak. I sat in the back and did the paddling. She crossed her legs so that one toe hung in the water and we glided over the glass like surface of the lake hoping for extraordinary sites. We stealthily followed a large Blue Heron from one spot to another and really enjoyed his huge wing span as he flew over our heads. We enjoyed the novelty of watching hornet activity from a safe distance. The nest was bigger than a basket ball and about 40 feet in the air. The sun kissed her face with warmth and the shady spots were welcome too.

Large hornet's next high in the trees
Large hornet’s next high in the trees

If it’s possible, creatively work around your injury and keep drinking in the outdoor experience. It might be just what the doctor ordered.

What is holding you back? Can you adjust your expectations, be creative and still spend happy moments outdoors?