Friday, August 23, 2013

A Day on the Buffalo National River

Arkansas didn't take the name of the Natural State for no reason.
I'm pretty sure it wins best views.

Last Sunday I floated the Buffalo National River for the first time. I even got to man my own kayak for the entire day.
It was the most perfect day. I couldn't have asked for more sunshine or better people to spend the day on the river.

Since it was my first time on the Buffalo and my second time in a kayak, I'm happy to report I didn't flip my boat or lose any personal items. And the river was higher than it normally is at this time of year, or so said the party bus driver who hauled us and the canoes to the river.

I only had to get out once to save my kayak from the river bottom, and it was my fault for not knowing how to drive in the mini-rapids.

I'm pretty positive I could spend every weekend floating the Buffalo.
The Spirit, that's what I called my kayak, was everything I wanted her to be. Lime green and roomy. Perfect for smooth sailing. The roommate got an orange kayak, while the Red Head and her little sister navigated a lime green canoe with all of our stuff.

We only had one minor mishap when the Red Head and her sister ramped a semi-submerged tree in the middle of some rapids. They kept the boat upright, but the Red Head lost her iPod to the river. She totally jumped out of the boat in the middle of a swift current to get it, and by sheer willpower, she saved it. It was much like a scene from Baywatch. Very dramatic.

I tried to paddle back to get her, but I just ended up running The Spirit into another kayaker, which left me to float backwards through a series of rapids. Needless to say, I didn't paddle back to her to save the day.

But it was a perfect day. Perfect in all sense of the word.
We had a blast, and kayaking has quickly become one of my favorite things. I mean it when I say I want to kayak all the time.

If someone were to ask me right now how I'd like to pass my time (as far as hobbies), I'd say more trail running, more yoga and more kayaking. So that's what I'm going to try to do.

Running has taken a backseat since the Little Rock Half Marathon. I fear my right knee is in need of an MRI to see what's causing its issues, but ain't nobody got time for that. I should say ain't nobody got money for that. But I still run. Just not as often or as hardcore.

I did get to run in the rain the other day. Almost three miles. There is something so pure about running in the rain. I feel so physically and emotionally clean when I'm finished. Like my mind is somehow clearer. That the rain has washed away my distracting thoughts.

I also got to go to a sunset yoga class last week, too. Yoga on a patio at sunset is the most perfect thing ever. Well, aside from a hot yoga class. Hot yoga is my favorite.

I'm about to have a lot of free time on my hands. And not by choice. So I will run more. Go to yoga as often as I can. And I will figure out how to kayak more. I'm also going to find time for strength training, but not because I love it like I love the other stuff.

I will strength train to become a better runner, yogi and kayaker. And in case of an incident with an attacker. Morbid, I know. But a girl can't be too careful these days.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Busy on the Lake

Y'all, Arkansas is beautiful.
The lake is beautiful.

I'm a fan of big bodies of water. My first favorite being the sea. All other bodies of water fail to compare, but I do love a good boat ride on a lake. Which is what I did over the weekend.

I also kayaked for the first time.

Hello new favorite hobby.

My shoulders were so sore, but in the best possible way. I didn't take my phone with me for the kayak trip because let's be honest...I would probably never see it again. It would be at the bottle of Lake Catherine.

Thankfully, the ole phone stayed safe in the car. But I'm still bummed I don't have pictures to share of my cheesin' face in a bright orange kayak.

The only thing that could have made the kayaking experience better was having a beer during paddling breaks. And listening to this song.
I've been tapping into my country roots here recently. The roommate and I listened to this song about 100 times on Saturday and Sunday. It was awesome. You think we'd be tired of it, but not quite.

It was an excellent weekend. Kayaking on Saturday. Lake happenings on Sunday. Running in the rain on Monday. All of my favorite things.

This weekend is also going to be awesome.

Buffalo River here we come.

The roommate and I have been trying to plan a float trip for five summers, and every year it falls through. Not this year. We finally have a small group of good peeps lined up to float the Buffalo. This will be my first time, and I'm super excited.

The kayaking really set the stage for the float trip. I've been day dreaming about it all week. I've even been stalking my really adventurous friends on Facebook to see how it's really done. I doubt we will encounter any rapids. From what I read, the Buffalo is rather tame.

Tame or not, I think we will come back with some good stories to share.

Have you ever floated the Buffalo? Kayaked? 

What's your favorite big body of water?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Great Expectations: The Beach Edition

About a month ago, I went to my favorite place on earth.
Hello Beach!!!

While I was at the beach, I met a good lookin' country boy. And we hit it off. Spent some time together. Drank some beer. Rocked in a hammock. You know things you do with someone at the beach.

It was perfect. I dare to say too perfect.

I'm a tad bit ashamed at how girly I acted over the whole situation now that some time has passed, which brought some much need perspective.

Every fiber in my being told me I liked him and that I should trust him. But the good ole brain of mine said maybe be careful. Maybe don't trust him or like him too much.

But I was a goner. I liked him instantly. Still do if we're being totally honest.

He was a smooth talker, easy on the eyes, loud, funny, perfect half smile, sculpted shoulders, the whole nine. He'd play with little kids in his family. And he'd showcase his athleticism by diving into the ocean to catch a football. Lord help us all who saw that beautiful sight.

But the level of likeness has gone down a considerable amount. And I'll tell you why. His fault and my fault because it was definitely both of us at fault.

He didn't show up for me.

And I mean show up as in actively pursue.

That's a big deal.

Now granted, he is about 500 miles away from me. But that shouldn't stop anything. Distance does make showing up literally more difficult, but it could still work. (Look at me the eternal optimist. The realist side of me is shaking my head in disgust.)

Here's the other thing. I gave the kid an out while we were at the beach. The whole we-don't-have-to-exchange-phone-numbers-and-pretend-to-really-care out so we could leave it as the most perfect week in the history of beach vacations.

But he didn't take the out.

So that is the first step of showing up. Not to mention that he knocked on all the condo doors one night to find me BEFORE we officially met. Another show up step.

Realistically, I should have known better. I slap my wrists now thinking back to how it all happened. And I give him mad props. Kentucky boy's got game like this Arkansas girl's never seen before. I mean really. Arkansas dudes need to step it up.

To be honest, I don't really blame him. It's just what happens when there's sun and beer and bare shoulders on the beach. Man, did he have great shoulders.

I'll forever think fondly of him. Because it was too good of a time not to.

But I'll be smarter next time. I won't have expectations. They tend to get me in trouble. And by that I mean I get too girly, which is annoying. Makes me cringe to think about it.

I know why guys have a tendency to phase out "those girls." We've all been one of them. Starts out fine. Then, we just start the over-analyzing and too much emotions talk, and it's like BOOM! We become the girls we hate.

When you see other girls doing it, it's like ha ha she's ten shades of crazy. Then you catch yourself doing it, and it's like HOLY SHIT, I'M ONE OF THOSE. You try to play it cool, but the damage is done.

So what happens next?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Call it a learning experience. Don't judge yourself. Promise to never do it again. Grab a bottle of tequila to mourn the fact that you turned into one of "those girls" and a bottle of champagne to toast yourself to being a better person than you were before.

Now somebody go get the limes and salt....