June 7, 2006


I love to canoe. In fact it's one of my favorite things to do! My favorite person to canoe with is my cousin, Michelle. We have been canoeing together since I can remember. Two years ago, maybe three now, we went and lived at our family's log cabin up in Michigan for the summer. We had a ton of fun. We spent a lot of time on the river that flows through our lake and on into Lake Michigan. We would float down on innertubes or canoe. We learned to work really well together. We had a hard time lifting the canoe to put it on top of my Jeep though, so we figured out we could start at the house and canoe across the lake and down the river to the mouth. At the mouth, we usually could find someone to help us lift the canoe back on the Jeep.

Growing up I always thought that my Aunt was the best canoer ever! After all, she owned the canoe we would use and she always told us what to do. The summer Michelle and I lived up in Michigan, we learned that just because someone is yelling at you to do something doesn't necessarily mean they know what they are talking about. This was our first experience where we learned that maybe we really only like canoeing with each other... Kathie and Michelle were paddling and I sat in the center and they were not communicating well. Kathie was trying to steer from the front and Michelle was getting frustrated, as mothers and daughters sometimes do. So I got in the back to paddle a while. Just as we were coming around the final bend, which is a little tricky to maneuver because of where the exit point is and the speed of the current right there, Kathie steered the back end of the canoe into a tree. I caught the branches up my side and under my arm - my uncle calls these obstacles "sweepers" because the sweep you out of your canoe. Sure enough the canoe kept going and I ended up in the water under the canoe. The water was freezing - which ended up to be a good things because I had managed to get a nasty gash under my arm and it was quite numb from the temperature of the water. We managed to finish out trip and overall it was a good memory :-) My scar has almost completely gone away.

Another canoeing memory I have is going with Michelle and my dad - I'm sure there were more family around but they are the only ones I remember. I was paddling with my father - I don't remember our locations in the boat - but I was probably 7 or 8 years old. I managed to pin my father between the branches of a fallen tree and a stump extending out of the water. Scared me to death! It took us a while to get my father and the canoe unlodged. But you know, these are the things I remember most. Learning how to be safe in a boat and not to underestimate the predicaments you can find yourself in. No need to create them.

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