I know it has been a long winter for all of us including many of you who do not often experience much of this cold stuff, and seldom if ever experience that fluffy, often slushy white stuff. Those of us who see snow and cold every year to one degree or another are experiencing a winter unlike any we have had in the last twenty years both in the amount of snow and low temperatures. Neither of those things is what brought home the knowledge that the winter has been too long more than this afternoon.
I was heading home driving along the shore of the St.Clair River, my preferred but not always most direct route home, when I noticed that there is a narrow swath of open water along the shore that extends far enough that it would make for a nice paddle. The next thing that I knew I was slogging through the snow down to the banks of the river to do some scouting and right where I thought there might be one there it was that spot where without any gymnastics a body, even one not as nimble as it once was could get into a kayak without getting its feet wet.
The degree of desperation that is contained in the preceding action is made clearer by the following, I have never believed that going out to paddle in conditions where the water is 9/10 ice covered and is according to the weather sites a bone chilling 32.4 degrees Fahrenheit. I have by the way taken an unintentional dip in the river in these conditions it is not an experience you forget. There is enough that can go wrong on even the best days, without adding these extra elements into the equation, elements which only stack the odds against you should anything go wrong. The conditions result in the addition of another consideration into the equation, there will be no one else to lend a hand should the unthinkable happen so here I sit on the couch, and yet I am still thinking about that spot on the shore.
There is one other drawback to the launch that has nothing to do with weather, it is swans! That may seem an odd consideration but a number of swans have made the area their home this winter. If you think this is a contrived excuse then you have obviously never had the adrenaline releasing, heart pounding experience of being chased across the water by a cranky, mean and surprisingly quick bundle of white feathers with a nasty beak. This realization of how quick, and cranky they can be occurs while you are paddling backwards as fast as you ever have in your life because there is no time to turn around and your just hoping that your paddling partner can move as fast backwards as fast as you can.
All the above being stated I am still here on the couch, thinking about that launch spot, knowing it is not going to happen, at least not today. It is time to go get some exercise so I will be ready when the time comes and tomorrow we will get out but will take advantage of the holiday and go play in the snow.