American Holly

American Holly
American Holly

Monday, November 19, 2012

Paddling with Zootie

 Dateline: November 18, Clear Creek, League City, Texas

I got to go on my first paddle since I've been back in Texas.  I've already been here for over a week so it was getting to be desperate times to live so long here without wetting my boat. I've been house sitting for my best friend, Natalie. She takes her small springer spaniel, Zootie, paddling so I thought I could probably handle her.  So we loaded up the boat, snacks, water, paddles, and both our life jackets and set off.

A little dry land practice pre paddle
 Zootie has been going lots of places with me and is a good little passenger.  But when we got to the park, she got really excited at all the great smells and sights of birds there. She got so wound up, I wasn't sure I could make her sit still  in the boat.  The first time I got in and both times we went under the Interstate 45 bridge, she was a little hard to manage. In fact she was totally terrified going under the bridge the first time and only a tight squeeze with my legs and grabbing her with my hands saved us. The second time, she was again reduced to shaking but she sat like a little trouper.



John has almost conquered  his spray skirt while Jim loads his kayak

Two pelicans weren't disturbed at all by our passage.  Zootie didn't try to retrieve them. So we stayed dry.

The group coming in to Challenger Perk

And I got to paddle with several of my friends - there were nine of us - in really beautiful weather; temps at about 70, with a light wind and little current in either directions. We had a good stopover at Challenger Park where we ate lunch together. 


 Notice that I'm the only one in a canoe?  This paddle is by the Houston Area Sea Kayakers and they don't invite canoers. But they let me get away with paddling since this canoe is fast enough that, with doubleblades, I can stay at the front of the group. And this way Zootie can have fun also. She loves water and walked and swam in it while we were waiting for everyone else to get ready.  She also needed some practice staying in one place in a boat since I think Natalie and I will be paddling solo canoes on our Thanksgiving trip.
Ann used my camera to get a picture of me and Zootie

Time to head back after lunch.

Spray skirts and life jackets go on, lunch gets packed away and we will soon be underway

This is a very urban paddle but we paddled between two parks so it still has lots of birds

The all-too-short end of a lovely paddle


Since I got home,  I had to get the turkey out of the brine - a major undertaking since I had to lift over 40 pounds high enough to get the bucket on the sink counter. I drained off the brine, rinsed the turkey and returned it to the refrigerator.  Tomorrow I'll bake it, then slice it up into dark and light meat bags.  The little pieces will become the meat for Friday's wraps. I'll make gravy to add to each bag of turkey and it will all be ready to reheat.

I cooked a huge batch of curried butternut squash soup this morning and just left it on the stove to cool.  I'll have to heat it all again for supper, then put most of it in the freezer. But my work for today is almost done.