What an amazingly refreshing weekend I have left behind me! Hubs and I registered to go with Toledo Metroparks to attend the 13th Annual South Bass Island Kayak Rendezvous. You can go by yourself and meet up with the rendezvous but we decided to go with the Metroparks. They had our cliff-side campsite reserved, food packed, kayak gear loaded and a way to the island. Show up and participate. I’m hesitant to spread the word about what an awesome job they did because space is limited….and I wanna go with them again next year…
South Bass Island
For those of you who don’t know, South Bass Island is an island in Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. A.KA., Put-In-Bay. Put-In-Bay is well known for the party crowd (though still a good place for a family weekend) with their many options for bars and good food. I’ve gone on many occasions with family growing up. We would camp at the state campground, bike the island, take a boat ride and of course, no trip to P.I.B. is complete without a visit to Heineman’s Winery. It’s so familiar to me that I have sort of always felt at home when I went to the island. This time though, I was going for a whole new reason. It was Tim’s first time and was going to be our first time to kayak longer than a half hour.
A look inside the South Bass Island Kayak Rendezvous
Eric Slough is the mastermind behind the event. The rendezvous technically goes all week but the most action happens on the weekend. We arrived Friday because #work...Our first night on the island started with a potluck dinner where over 100 Rendezvous participants gathered. To see so many like-minded people gather for the love of kayaking was inspiring! As if that wasn’t enough, guest speaker Michael Gray of Uncommon Adventures shared a peak into his summer of worldwide travel. Simply amazing. Tim and I left the dinner motivated and reinvigorated to partake in and to share the love of adventure with our children.
Que the Nerves
I wasn’t worried about Tim. The only time he got in a kayak was two summers ago in Norris Lake, Tennessee. Upon entering it he promptly flipped it. But, I wasn’t worried about him. He catches on to things and perfects them faster than I have time to make fun of him for flipping the kayak… I was nervous about me! I grew up in canoes and tiny sailboats and I was nervous! Nervous about dunking myself, nervous I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Nervous. I was raised taking back-country canoe trips. However, never have I been in charge of my own boat or vessel if you will.
Nervous as ever, I couldn’t miss this rare chance to have one on one time with my husband. We love trying new adventures together especially when it requires a little skill and sweat. So I kept my nerves in check and acted like I was game.
There’s so much to say about the experience.
I will never see Lake Erie the same again. Once upon a time I cringed at the thought of going to Lake Erie. In my defense, it smells of dead feesh and black sludgy “sea weed” washes up onto the shores. On this weekend though, I fell in love. With whitecaps on the water, just gliding with the waves in my boat, I felt at peace. I felt whole. I felt like I was part of something larger, like I belonged. Laugh if you must. I sound cheesy! I know it! But, try it and tell me that you don’t feel it too. There is something about being on a large body of water and seeing how small you are. For a moment you become part of nature and truly feel alive. In a kayak, when a wave comes, at first you brace yourself. Your boat wobbles a bit. And your panic fades a tad. Then before you know it, you are waiting for the waves to sweep you up and gently move you as if you were a wave yourself. I’ve heard it time and time before that when you’re in a kayak you’re supposed to be one with the boat. Okay, eye roll. But seriously friends! I was one with that boat! In a canoe I’ve never felt like one with my boat. I was a passenger. In a kayak, you’re not a passenger to your boat but a passenger to the waters.
Live Life to Know Life
Not only did we learn how much we love Kayaking, I got to take hubs to Heineman’s and share my memories where I ran into some of my family! Another stop we made on the island was to Perry’s Cave. We had an excellent tour guide and enjoyed hearing of the early history of the cave. Though this was a short time in a small weekend, it has permanently impacted me. I’ve been reminded that you’re not home until you’re outside, escaping the daily grind with your spouse is important, and of course a good tent is worth it ;)