The kayaking company we'd chosen, Desert Adventures, picked us up from the hotel at 5:30 a.m. After a quick stop at their shop (and the last bathroom with real plumbing we would see until we returned that evening), an ID check, and some pedal adjustment (did you know kayaks have pedals? Nope, me either. The pedals control the rudder) we were on the water by around 7 a.m.
My girlfriend had suggested the Black Canyon kayaking tour, a trip she'd done before. The website listed the skill level of the journey as "beginner +." The difficulty was "moderate." I failed to notice the distance: just under 12 miles.
Husband and I had never kayaked before. We'd never even contemplated kayaking. "Why kayak when land is so nice and firm and difficult to drown in?" I wondered. But the group was excited, and Husband and I were up for anything, so that's how we found ourselves at the base of the Hoover Dam in the cold wind, with rain imminent, our legs locked under the plastic ledge of the kayaks, clutching paddles that read "Escape."
|This picture cannot possibly capture the magnitude of the Dam or the magnitude of my anxiety.|
Here's what actually happened: I died. And then I complained a whole bunch about dying and was generally annoying to my friends for the rest of the trip (they were kind enough not to confirm this).
Starting at the base of the Hoover Dam was incredible - the size of the dam was awe-inspiring.
|The whole gang in front of the Dam, ready to depart.|
Donning our damp clothing, we returned to the water. It is important, at this point in the story, to mention that the rudder on Husband's kayak was broken. He was the first to depart the docking point, and when he got caught in a bit of current, he had to paddle quite hard to make sure he didn't become too far separated from the group.
|One of these kayaks belonged to Husband. I'll give you one guess.|
|Guess which one is the photobomber.|
|You fool. You won't be smiling soon.|
|The unnamed woman in red does not like what she's about to do.|
|Husband, doing an imitation of a lobster being boiled alive.|
Somehow, miraculously, we finally, finally, finally landed at our lunch spot. I had to swallow the sobs that I felt welling up, simply because I was so happy to not have to move my arms. Lunch was incredible, decadent, succulent - a peanut butter and jelly sandwich has never tasted so good.
Inevitably, we had to return to the water. However, praises to the Gods of Kayaking, the final leg of our trip featured a more leisurly pace and several stops.
|People who somehow were not dead and even appear to be enjoying the experience.|
|See the green? All I needed for this trip was the heart, some brains, and the noive.|
|Even though you people put me through this, I will continue to love you.|