Oh Yeah. Did I Mention That We’re Nuts?

 m eagle float1

Yep!  It’s snowing and I’m kayaking!


I am just now starting to warm up enough to show you some pics of what we did a couple Saturdays ago (January 19th to be exact).  R. Darling and I went with the local chapter of WAKE on an eagle watching trip down the Skagit River.  To be completely honest, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to paddling my sea kayak down a frosty river.  But in some ways I am still a newlywed, and I just can’t help myself from being game for most of the things that R. Darling cooks up even though I quite often end up cold, wet, muddy, or all of the above.  But (almost) always with a smile!  I’m just not ready to quit perpetuating  the myth that I’m a good sport ;)

After R. Darling packed up our gear that morning, we piled into the truck and headed for Marblemount (I’ll skip the specifics here; if you’re even vaguely interested, you can find them on R. Darling’s bloggy).  A light sleet hit our windshield on the way out of town issuing an ominous you-will-freeze-your-ass-off-today sort of warning in my head.  Driving further southeast we were greeted with a countryside growing more steadily white as each mile drifted away.  By the time we reached the meeting point and started the complicated shuttle of cars from put-in to take-out it had begun to snow lightly, then ever increasingly, making me nervous for my fingers and toes (I rather wanted to keep them!).  While waiting for the rest of the group to reappear after the final shuttle, I snapped a few photos for posterity while trying to keep my rapidly numbing appendages warmed up as much as possible.


eagle float trees1

Beautiful surroundings


It was peaceful at first, being on the river with the snow falling on us.   I had never thought of using a sea kayak on a river before, but the Skagit is a wide, deep river with very gentle rapids (at least where we paddled) well suited to coasting along in a sea kayak.  We did hit a few rough-ish sort of rapids that scared me a bit as I was already feeling worried that I wouldn’t be accomplished enough to hang with this crowd, but I managed them o.k.   There was one unfortunate gal who didn’t navigate them quite as successfully and, poor thing, went for a swim twice in the frigid waters wearing only a wet suit.  I was cold enough as it was without having been dunked and I felt awfully sorry for her but selfishly glad it wasn’t me.


r eagle float1

R. Darling enjoying himself immensely


About 6 miles into the trip, or maybe an hour and a half on the water, the novelty of the falling snow and peacefulness of coasting along on the river lost a bit of its charm.  My fingers and toes, though bundled tightly against the weather, began to complain about the punishing temperature.  And we were only halfway there.  R. Darling and I both agreed that this was a fun trip – once – and that we didn’t really need to experience it again any time soon.  In all, I counted about 50 eagles (occasionally losing count when thinking about how damn cold I was) and it was thoroughly amazing to see the sheer numbers of them feeding, nesting, and perching near the banks of the river.  They are truly breathtaking to see up close.  Majestic, regal, every word you’ve ever heard to describe them is absolutely true.  And, I’ll add, they’re downright huge.  Unfortunately, most of the pictures that day turned out dark and blurry due to the weather conditions, but we did get a few decent ones.


eagle in flight1

eagle juvenile1

This juvenile seemed completely unruffled as we drifted slowly past him only feet away


So, despite the fact that I’m in no hurry to rush back out into the frigid weather in my kayak, a cozy house, a warm husband, and lots of hot tea have conspired to give our little trip a more rosy glow than I perhaps felt that day.  I’d say it was a great adventure after all and I’m glad I was game enough to go!


r&m eagle float1

I may look like I’m smiling but my face is actually frozen that way!


12 thoughts on “Oh Yeah. Did I Mention That We’re Nuts?

  1. It is gorgeous and all, but you guys are CRAZY! David and I are not married yet, but I already let him know that I am not going to ski, I will, however, sit in the lodge with a giant cup of hot cocoa and knit. :) I give you a lot of credit to do what you do!

  2. You are WAY too good of a sport! Although I guess I am a good sport about Jim’s things too, like friends on the couch…Cold weather is not my friend though! I am freezing all the time anyway so I could never see myself out there.

  3. I’m cold just looking at the pictures! You are a super good sport!

    The pictures are breathtaking and I am actully jealous…..Thanks for sharing them woth us!

  4. You are WAY too good a sport! I’ll leave my comfort zone for a nice little Harley ride, but nothing involving “rain” or “ice” or “getting wet”. Does he realize how lucky he is?! ;)

  5. Oh wow… you guys are insane! Well, I guess that’s just my lazy ass talking – if anything, you guys are pretty amazing for going out in the middle of January, enjoying life to its fullest, seeing all the marvels of nature (I never knew that there was even a place where a group of people could see 50+ eagles up close!), and getting that exciting rush of kayaking and cold-weather induced adrenaline and endorphins!

  6. wow amazing. I really don’t think I could do that. Of course I go snowshoeing and such so I might be crazy too but in different manner.

    Very pretty pictures. I do know on my photographic snowshoe hike, I determined I needed liners that allowed me to take pics and not freeze off my little pinky. Not really necessary for knitting but for a few other things very important.

  7. I enjoy the snow… from the view of my window.

    The thought of dangling myself near any water outdoors for any length of time here in the great freeze makes me feel like passing out. ;)

  8. I love the last picture! You guys look like you’re having loads of fun, esp with the snow caked to your vests and hats! LOL

    Actually I bet it was magical! :D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s