Camping/Canoeing/Kayaking Trip Recap Day 1
This morning I got back from a three days and two night camping/canoeing and kayaking trip down the Delaware. Check out Adventure Sport if you're ever interested. Basically you drop your car off at the Delaware Water Gap which is only about an hour and a half West of NYC from Route 80. After making sure you have all your gear, etc., you're driven up in a van to your drop off point. Our trip in the van took about an hour including stops to pick up other passengers. We started off about 33 miles north of the gap. Our driver gave us minimal information, i.e. feet up first and if you see a bear, you're screwed. We were also given a rudimentary map featuring various camping sites and "landmarks" along the river. The three of us were all novices but I guess it doesn't take much to learn how to paddle. Fortunately, my friend had checked out some instructional videos. And as far as outdoor safety, I was all set. One guy was a camp counsel for many years and has gone camping his whole life. Another guy is NOLS certified (National Outdoor Leadership School) and if that wasn't enough, spent 3-4 months biking across the country. So I felt pretty safe- a little nervous about being the only girl but yeah, I'm now definitely one of the guys.
So interesting fact about canoeing/kayaking - that shit takes work yo. It's quite the interesting and unique experience to realize your body and physical energy is the thing that will power you along your journey for 33 miles. Yes, obviously I have experienced the power of movement through running, biking, walking, etc. but each stroke gets you at tops, I believe 3-4 miles per hour. We were fortunate that last week's storm left the river moving faster than normal but yeah, I'm diesel now. The kayak was a bit easier to maneuver except of course, when I nearly got caught up in a tree, stuck in the water while going backwards. My friend claims I was an inch from flipping. Even so, I preferred it because the movement seemed more natural, distributing equal work between both arms. I never quite got the hang of the canoe- whether it was learning the subtle art of being the rudder or the vigorous, switching from side to side action as the motor.
On the first night, we set up camp on a site that according the map, was closed. We figured it had something to do with the high water level and the intense incline from river to land but their was actually no sign saying it was closed. After some serious lifting, dragging the canoe and kayak up the steep, muddy incline, we were finally able to set up camp. Our site was very remote. Seemed to be the only camp site open within that area- perhaps the nearest open site was not for another mile. Our fire pit overlooked a small cliff and offered us some serious seclusion.
After a hearty meal, raising our food bag high above our heads away from our tent, and realizing we were all too tired from our 6am wake up and lengthy trip to even speak coherently, we hit the sack. It was still light out- only around 8:30 but we were out like a light. Well at least one of us was. Let me tell you, in the woods, all types of things go bump in the night. And apparently there are bears yo. Fortunately, I gotz my bad ear. If I sleep on my good ear (my right side) everything is muffled. This comes in handy when trying to ignore the many nightly sounds, loud neighbors or buzz of the air conditioner. Not so handy when people make fun of me under their breath, or I'm trying to have an awkward bar/ phone conversation. Haven't figured out why I naturally hold the phone to my bad ear either.
Anyway, during the night, I could have 100% that at least 1 or both of my boyz had left the tent to pee. There was definitely some serious movement going on either inside or outside the tent and I was too afraid to listen and analyze whether or not it was just tossing and turning, or if we had a visitor. So the most part, I pushed my good ear firmly to my towel pillow, avoiding the sounds. The next morning we all woke up early and I asked if either had left the tent, and alas, both were too afraid of being mauled by a bear to venture outside. Hmm... to be continued..