Yes, Finn has donned a new identity as a Paddle Boarding Beastie and has been walking around the house humming tunes from the Surfaris and using phrases like “Hang Ten, Dude.” Even though Finn has clearly mistaken stand-up paddle boarding for surfing (a big no-no), he still wanted to show off his recent watery adventure with the Blogosphere.
But first, there’s the trouble of getting Finn out of bed.
To fit in some time on the water before Mr. Husband has to go to work requires getting up at a horribly early time. Finn was confused since he usually only sees these numbers on the stove clock when they mean PM, not AM.
Finn and I could get up a little later, but then there would be no time to dose up on caffeine before heading out. And really, you don’t want to get a Beastie up at that hour without offering him a cup of strong tea. Trust me on this.
With both Finn and I feeling better, it was time to load the boards on the car (Finn conveniently found something else he “had” to do just at this moment). This used to be a task we didn’t have to do because we used to have inflatable paddle boards that we could just toss into the back of the car.
Notice the words “used to have.”
See, on our Venetian getaway (that being Veneta, Oregon, not Venice, Italy), Mr. Husband’s inflatable board sort of did a Hindenburg (minus the fiery inferno). The guys at the board shop said they’d never seen anything like it. With a new wariness of the inflatables, Mr. Husband opted for a rigid board when he chose a replacement. The minute I tried out his new board, I was eagerly scanning craigslist and the board shop’s website for a used rigid board I could call my own. Unfortunately, everything was either too expensive (or suspiciously cheap), the wrong size, or just plain ugly.
Just when i was about to despair of ever finding a board I liked at a price we could afford, I gave craigslist one more try. The SUP gods were smiling on me that evening because there it was: a board in my price range, the right size, and just look how pretty it is….
Finn wasn’t too sure about the pink at first, but he loved the bamboo inlay and the flower designs. But back to the adventure.
The easiest spot for us to go paddle boarding is the boat ramp/riverfront park along the Willamette River just a mile from our house. That early in the morning it’s eerily calm and quiet.
Lacking muscles and hands (and any motivation to exercise), Finn finds it a bit hard to use the paddle, but that didn’t stop him from hopping right onto the board and shouting at me to “Weigh anchor.”
–Finn, this is a paddle board, there’s no anchor.
-Sorry, I just got lost in the moment. Can we avast some maties?
We started out by heading north, which if we were really motivated, we would end up in downtown Portland. But with limited paddling time (and endurance), we simply set the Sellwood Bridge as our goal for the morning. You can see the bridge in the distance. That gleaming building on top of the hill is Oregon Health Sciences University, aka “where I used to work.”
But wait, what’s that approaching on the water?
-Better hunker down, Finn.
-Pirates? I’m too young to die!
-Nope. Here he comes.
Once the water skier zipped by, all was calm again with the only other lifeforms in sight being herons, osprey, kingfishers, and baby fish leaping out of the water like reverse raindrops. Unfortunately, it was time to head back, but there was still time for a couple more photos before we lugged the boards back to the car.
This is Elk Rock Island. In the summer you can walk out to it from shore, but the rest of the year, the river is high enough to cut the island off from “the mainland.” While it’s now just a place to hike and fish, the island used to be quite the happening place. In the early 1900s the island was home to a dance hall called the Rock Island Club. People used to take a boat trip to the island (you can still see the stairs where they used to dock) and shake their booties until sometime in 1916 when a fire consumed the dance hall.
When I told Finn this, he tried some dance moves of his own. Even though I don’t remember John Travolta carrying a book while he discoed away his Saturday Night Fever, I think Finn has captured the look pretty well.
By the time we got done with the dance-filled photo shoot and out of the water, the sun was mostly up and it was time to start the work day…after more tea, of course.
How about you? Any water-filled adventures lately? What are you willing to get up early for? I’ll be back next Wednesday with more book news and a little announcement! See you then.