The formal stats from the morning paddle first: fingertips frozen even inside 3.5mm neoprene gloves covered on top with ice-hard pogies, the Fox flooded and the stream moving strong with the 15-knot head wind from the North. Everything is frozen on decks as well as on the body from the waist up. Temperature just over 20 degrees. Just after 8 AM.
Usually there are quite a few paddlers for company. The current was probably as strong as it ever gets on the stretch of the river north of Roosevelt/State road. The temperature was the lowest I’ve ever paddled at just over 20 degrees.
That’s where I realized that the decaf probably had too much caf in it. To make things more interesting, I decided to paddle backwards all the way back to GKC. Why would you do that? Well, I like paddling in surf. What does paddling in the surf have to do with paddling backwards? At least, two things, actually. First, there’s a technique for landing in big surf called “back in.” It involves facing the oncoming waves with your bow and approaching the shore with your stern. Paddle forward to meet the breaking waves and chase them while back-paddling on their backs. More traditional landing “in-out” surf involves facing the shore. Even doing it this way, one has to be able to back-paddle sometimes in order to avoid being caught in a spot where the wave is breaking and launched toward solid ground with the full power of the broken wave.