PaddlingDuring camps, the kids had been in canoes.  They learned a few basic strokes. So, at the beginning of our trip, Mark, Andrea and Audrey were still novices at best.

They were intimidated by a lot of things.  They often got out and walked because they were not sure they could go through.

However, they very quickly learned how to navigate the Class I and II rapids we went through.  Trees were still a little intimidating, but they learned to maneuver around them or how to dunk under them.  Since their canoe weighed a lot less then our canoe, they were able to go places we had to walk through.

TreeAndrea had the vantage point, and she often encouraged the kids, “come on, we can do this!” and they would. Once, Andrea and Audrey  were able to dunk under a tree but Mark was too tall. His paddle got caught in the tree and he ended up in the water without turning it over.

We knew that there were rapids near the end of the trip that we probably wanted to walk through.  We knew that they were harder than the other rapids and there was a drop off in them.  Someone asked at almost every rest stop, “are we getting close to the rapids?”

When we finally reached them, it was a lot earlier than we expected.  We knew the water was louder and the white caps much larger than the others we had passed.  We did not see the drop off until we were right on it.  As we went over and a lot of water splashed into the boat, we realized this was “the rapids” we had been watching for.  The kids took them like pros.  Mark said if he had seen the drop off, they would have walked it, but was glad he did not see it.  They wanted to do it again!

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