I’m really good at ignoring evidence. The expiration date on a block of cheese I plan to slice up. The heat advisory when I want to ride. The unreciprocated gesture. I guess you could say I just can’t take a hint. Will trumps reality; desire outpaces what’s realistic, if only in my mind.
But that’s where I live these days. Take, to come to the case at hand, this statement that came with the model of kayak I chose: “For calm flatwater only.” I read it, committed it to memory and respected it, and, on Sunday, I ignored it.
Families with young children put in at the flatwaters just west of RVA’s Huguenot Bridge. They paddle their canoes and kayaks upstream and have a lovely time as heron and hawks fly overhead and the odd glimpse of a turtle hints at life in the water below. The river is broad and slow, and the rocks are easy to climb on.
I went downstream toward the Pony Pasture rapids. I’d been thinking about kayaking all of the way downtown, 10 miles or so, but to get there I needed to find the portage around the Z Dam. I asked a woman on a SUP about going downstream as far as Reedy Creek, where
I’d heard that at the island you stay left, but when I got to the island, there were two islands, a tiny one in the middle of the river and, to its left, the much larger Williams Island. So I followed Williams around to the left and found myself alone. I paddled ahead as far as the buoys reading “Caution Dam, Stay Away” and turned round to go back upstream. No portage in sight.
The day was a loss. I’d planned to be out two hours and had already been out 90 minutes. As I circled back ’round Williams Island, the sun was now higher and the river, I could see,
[Wordpress tells me I left off writing this 658 days ago. I don’t recall how I intended to finish that sentence.]