Category Archives: Kayaking
As 2012 draws to a close, I start to reflect on the year that has been. All the crazy stories and adventures that have come out of it. Motorcycle trips, mountain biking, mountain hiking, wake boarding, 5k’s, sailing, kayaking, white water kayaking, canoeing, camping, indoor rock climbing, and many more. See the 2012 review in pictures below!
Before we look at 2012, here is a flash back to 2011.
Soooo drum roll please….2012 you sexy beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sailing, did A LOT of sailing, both racing and play sails:
Sailed on a catamaran (for the first time):
Indoor rock climbing:
Climbed over some real rocks at Rock City in Chattanooga, TN:
Motorcycle trip from FL to GA to TN to NC and back to FL:
Motorcycle camping trip to south Florida:
Ice Skating in a tent in FL:
Wrestled an alligator:
The Color Run – The Happiest 5k on the planet:
Climbed to the top of a sailboat mast:
Visited Fontana Dam, NC:
November 4th. That is the day. To most, this will just be like any other day. The sun will rise, the sun will set and the world will go round.
It will be the same as it has been for millions of years. Except this year, 11/4/2012, this is the day that Daylight Savings end and we set our clocks back one hour.
This means it will get darker earlier now in the evenings. So about when I am getting off of work, the sun will be setting. All I have to say to that is BLAH! As you can see, I am not a fan of the upcoming time change. All of the mountain biking trails around here close at sunset. So if the sun is about to set when I get off of work, there is no way I can make it before the trails close.
So to take advantage of the month and a half remaining of Daylights Saving Times, I have decided to try as best I can to ride at least one day after work each week before D-Day!!
Today was day 1!
I arrived at the trails shortly after work and there were only 2 other cars in the parking lot. Means the trails were pretty much all mine!! These particular trails are not my favorite and I wouldn’t consider what I did today “mountain biking”. This trail system is the closest to my work so I can optimize my riding time before sunset.
There are no big drops or climb outs to do. Nothing technical or challenging, just simple riding. It is however a great place to get practice in with clip-ins. When I tried clip-ins a couple of years ago, this is the first place I used them to get use to them. There was one section that was very rocky and had lots of big roots sticking out of the ground.
Since I was just getting use to being clipped in, I didn’t make it out of them quick enough and I crashed, HARD! I put a pretty big gash on my knee and blood was going everywhere. I still have the scar from that crash
I landed on the rocks/roots so hard it knocked the wind out of me. I didn’t have time to sit there and dwell because I was being attacked my mosquitoes! I had to hurry up, and start peddling again. Damn you mosquitoes!
But enough about that, back to the trail! It is close to the Hillsborough River and the best part about this area is if you ride far enough to the opposite side of the entrance, there is a look out spot over the river where you can watch people in kayaks paddle by (I have kayaked the river a time or two). It is also a good place to bring newbies to the world of riding!
When I got to the trails, there were some dark clothes in the sky. I was hoping I would get rained on a bit. Riding trails in the rain is great! Riding trails in the mud while it is raining, even better!!
Sadly, it didn’t rain but there were a couple of muddy sections to play in
As I was riding, I kept seeing deer everywhere. There must have been at least 7 to 10 deer that I saw. There was one in particular that was very photogenic. In reality he was probably very scared of me standing there snapping pictures that he didn’t move. I only had my phone so the picture quality isn’t great but he is there, I promise!
Usually my after work rides are between 1 and 2 hours, today I kept it short and did 45 minutes! Short but very sweet, and DIRTY!
After riding I came home and starting the relaxing portion of my night. It did involve a glass of wine and writing this post
Always sad to see the weekend end.
I have a co-worker who once said to me, “the weekend, 48 hours to live”. That comment depressed me. I think everyday should be time to live.
Dream job: something that doesn’t involve sitting at a desk all day!
Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day tends to suck your soul. Maybe not that bad but life is meant to be lived out there in the world, not at a desk. At least I love my job and the people I work with
So the weekend was here and is now gone. This weekend was a mixture of awesome times with some interesting revelations.
Saturday morning/afternoon was spend kayaking around Caladesi Island.
Caladesi Island is absolutely beautiful. The crystal blue water makes you feel as if you are kayaking off some remote topical island. I almost forgot I was in Florida, until we hit the mangroves.
Kayaking Florida mangroves is ALWAYS entertaining. It usually involves lots of running into the mangroves, whether fault of your own or someone ramming into you.
The mangroves surround you on all sides with crabs all over them. There are times when the above mangroves are super low. It does prevent a challenge when trying to paddle through. My friend that joined my on the kayak adventure kept getting their paddle stuck in the mangroves which then lead them to crash into the mangroves.
I have to admit, my stomach was hurting so bad due to all the laughing!
The fun is when you get rammed into the mangrove and a crab falls into your kayak. True story, that happened before!!! Luckily, the crab didn’t bother me and I didn’t bother him. Once I got out of the mangroves I was able to get him out and let him be on his crabbie way.
The ride from when we exited the mangroves to the beach was anything but laughter causing. It was two hours of brutal paddling! The current and wind were harsh.
You couldn’t stop paddling because you would find yourself drifting back. Then you would have to rebuild the momentum and start all over.
2 hOURS!!!!!!! My arms were big ole noodles once I finally made it back to shore. Noodles I say!!!!
After the 4 hour tour, I had to hurry up, shower and get ready for Wazoo.
Wazoo is a yearly event at our local zoo that has tons of beer and food from local vendors.
When I arrived, we got our mini beer tasting mug:
Within 5 minutes of arriving, the sky opened up and it poured!!!! Spent the rest of the event soaked! At least it cooled everyone down from the Florida heat.
Not sure if the event is worth the amount of money you pay but it was great to try all the beer and food that they had. Also ran into some friends that I hadn’t seen for a while and some co-workers.
Sadly, I didn’t make it mountain biking this weekend but I’m hoping next week to make it happen!
Everyone has different views on new beginnings. Some people find them scary, some people find them exciting. I guess it really depends on the events that get you to that new beginning.
I am of the latter, beginnings excite me. Change excites me.
The past few weeks have been quite hectic around here. Tuesday I moved into my new place in the best part of Tampa surrounded by amazing friends!
“Sometimes the unexpected is the best thing that could ever happened!” If you ever find yourself in a tough situation, just remember that!
With the move, I have slacked on my blogging but here is the sailing recap from the past week:
Last Thursday we raced our hearts out and came in first place (proof below)! Can I get WOOT WOOT!!!!!
Straight from the website: 1 Time Bandit
So this Thursday we had to beat one of the other boats in our class so that we could get ahead the series. Sadly, we did not, we came in third. DAMN and BLAST!!! But the rum was good and the company excellent!
Post race some of the crew and I wandered down to our local Mexican restaurant for some grub and Margarita’s!!
This weekend shows no signs of slowing down either. Kayaking, Wazoo, Mountain Biking and whatever else comes along. Hope you all have a stellar weekend as well
Thursday, just the sound of this word makes me all excited because I know the weekend is so close!!!!
Usually this day is rounded out with some racing on the sailboat but not this Thursday. The Fort Myers Race is today, so our boat is headed down there!! Good luck to my Time Bandit crew!!!
However, this works out perfectly because The Doc and I are headed out of town tomorrow for some camping and canoeing this weekend. Tonight will be filled with packing, prepping and preparing for the arrival of a new couch tomorrow morning (at like 7:30am,!
At first, there was a small army joining us for the trip. Over the course of initial planning and now, the actual going, everyone dropped out but The Doc and I Oh well, while I wish everyone could have made it, if there is one thing The Doc and I know how to do, it is have fun! Bring on the water!
The canoe run is rated as Moderate but I hear it is more challenging than Moderate. There are some spots where you have to get out, lift the canoe up over trees and whatnot, I’m excited for that! We will see though how it shapes up once we get there though. I am really hoping it is more on the challenging side. I need a little challenge in my life I’ll provide a full update when we get back.
We are also bringing the mountain bikes with us. There are some trails about 5 miles away from the campsite so we are planning on hitting them up this weekend as well. So much to cram into 3 days, just the way I like it!
Also, heard a rumor there is a high bear alert. GRRRRRR!!!!!! Good thing I have been running lately!
Speaking of running, its a new month and that means a new workout bet between The Doc and I. For the month of April our bet was who could track the most miles during the month. I lost, by a whopping 10 miles. Together though, we tracked 254.73 miles over the month! Go team go!!!
For the month of May, the wager is who can have the most improved/best 5k time. This morning I put my first 5k on the board. Drum roll please….38:36. Its not the best time but I haven’t been training for the 5k for too long so I am happy with that number, for now.
Colin (aka The Doc) put a time of 39:35. So we are pretty much on the same level with our times. It will be an interesting month to see who can put down the best 5k time!!
For now though, hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Cinco de Mayo weekend!!!!!
This past weekend was a strange one. Not strange in the sense that something happened but in the fact that the usually 2 day weekend felt like it was 4 days long. I don’t know how it happened, I’m not going to question it but I want to know how to get that feeling every weekend!!!
Friday night we went to my fav sushi place Samari Blue for some delicious sushi followed by a game of air hockey (I won cause it is what I do at air hockey). Saturday we loaded up the kayaks and drove over to Weeden Island.
We have done Weeden Island before via SUPs but since our amazing white water kayaking adventure we want to do it again with kayaks. We are in the beginning stages of planning a week long white water kayaking trip so all and any time spent in a kayak will be beneficial.
The sun was shining, the water was perfect (slightly on the chilly side but in the Florida sun it was inviting), and the sunscreen was flying!
Weeden Island is a 4 mile stretch that goes along the coast and in and out of mangroves. My favorite part is the mangroves! If your kayak gets a little out of control and you hit some of the mangroves, beware, a crab may fall in your kayak. That is a true story that has happened to me!! Last time I kayak here was with my friend Samantha and she slammed into me, the brakes on kayaks don’t always work well When she slammed into me, she pushed me into a mangrove which had lots of little crabs on the limbs. One of those crabs fell right in my kayak.
Crabby and I remained friends until I was out of the mangroves and could jump out and rescue him. He was a good passenger during our time together. I appreciated him not crawling on me and he appreciated the fact that I let him out gently and safely!
After a great day on the water we meet up with some friends at Bahama Breeze! SUCH AMAZING FOOD and atmosphere!
Sunday was filled with good home cookin’ at a random restaurant which we found on our way to a winery. We had a Groupon deal to Keel and Curley Winery. It was a fantastic Groupon deal. $20 for the two of us which included wine tasting, two souvenir glasses and a tour of the winery. The Black Raspberry Merlot was my fav!!!
All in all, a great weekend!
Then of course Monday comes along with the hustle and bustle of work.
With the time change, I have to and MUST take advantage, so Monday morning before I left for work, I put my mountain bike on my car so I could hit the trails after work. And hit the trails did I.
It was great. I got to the trails around 5:30 and there was only one other car in the parking lot! I pretty much had the trails to myself. Nature, bike, myself and my thoughts. Great therapy