Monday, June 18, 2012

Road Trippin- News of the Coast

Ahoy Mate,

Looking for information, I started a road trip…I was blessed with so much information and made many new friends…let me explain

I got contacted by 3 women in GA- they had read that I was having a hard time finding people to paddle with there…all paddlers…they work with battered women and it’s important that people not know who they are, so they request no pics…navigation of swampy water is a skill they wanted me to have…also they have an odd current formation and was shown how to make it through it…I was using a borrowed kayak- it was neon green and purple…the water and air took a slight chill on

In South Carolina, 2 undercover policeman and their wives took me out to play in the surf…waves capped in white…I really enjoy them…I cannot explain the release as you pass thru the wave or the energy build up from riding it…I was made to capsize/ roll the kayak…paddled across an inlet…whenever I get across an inlet it is a thing- I always want to yell ‘OO RA’…lol…it rained off and on…I saw 2 notch (she is a manatee that I first met in Crystal River, FL)...she likes to tap on my boat…I noticed a change in animals and vegetation…back on the road were several safe rest areas to nap in

The yellow flowers by the zillions along the roads tell you Welcome to North Carolina…here I stopped to speak at a battered women’s group…some still carried bruises, this was hard to a group we paddled…we learned to move as a group- sounds far easier than it is…when your body has been broken by another person, the mind develops BIG trust issues…this is with all person or persons that we encounter…I will pray for these women…the road is long, but worth the trip…the rest areas here are beautiful and quite safe

Virginia…well, it was interesting…I was going to stop to see a friend who was dying…by the time I got there- he had died, he was my hero…I went to Sandbridge to vent, I knew where there used to be a secluded…it was still there sort of…I started to scream at the world, when a voice asked ‘does that really help?’…I told him I would rather be in a kayak…I was told ‘follow me’…I was taken to the back on a military base and handed a pfd with a paddle…it was a GREAT practice spot…the anger in me was safely released…we talked about what my plan was- he felt I could complete it with no problem…that night I got a hotel…this was the area that I took the most beatings- the room at the ‘Sleep Inn’ was beautiful, but sleep was still hard to come by…

The morning brought me through Maryland…can you say WICKED EXPENSIVE…tolls here are exceedingly high…federal dept of transportation needs to look into this…the tunnel is dirty…if it was an everyday thing I would invest in one of those white face masks…I was excited to see a facebook friend who had offered to paddle with me…it was raining and he said the water was churned up…we got to the put in and the water was murky- I saw a few tidal pools and though the young man would have went, I felt it best that we wait for a better day…

While I was in South Carolina, Walt got a call from the great state of Delaware…this was a battered woman who is still running…she is fabulous with a yak…I feel very privileged that she took time and put herself at risk for me…she felt there were many things I should know, she had a notebook and went over every detail and then took me to the water…this is the second place I felt a temperature shift in the water…crossing the inlet was scary at first, but once I got out there I was feeling better

New Jersey is and ever will be New Jersey…here I met a book club who wanted to paddle with me…we paddled by ‘Lucy’ the elephant…I would have cool pics of this, but had not checked to see my battery was dead…they have a rocky kind of flat coast…the ladies and I had a good time…though none of them had heard of a shelter anywhere near them…a couple wanted to see about putting together a New Jersey version of ‘The Vagina Monologues’…

New York made me think of seeing downtown Cairo on the TV…A paddler who wants me to be safe, but does not want his name in public took me out to Fire Island and has offered to paddle this leg with me next year…did someone drop ice in the water…I tried on my dry suit, never thought about the 150 pounds I lost- now I look like a little girl lost in mommy’s dry suit…lol…I guess it is time for a new one…the air was crisp

Connecticut was dreary grey both up and back…if you pull off the highway you meet the warmest people…the rest areas are nice…here I was brought to a ‘chart house’…a retired Navy chief is working on putting together a package for me…he went over the map key he would use and explained how and where he wanted me to carry them and why…he would meet me next year at Mystic Seaport and paddle with me for a day

Rhode Island is a place I have played since I was a kid…I knew in MA was a bed with sleep, so I drove through like a scalded dog…as I went through downtown providence I noted a huge new Mall and the state house was just where I left it…Mary, Marilyn and I were to meet at the Stateline…they were shopping at Bob’s…I was so happy to see them

Marilyn took me home, fed me, tucked me in and let me sleep…Wilma (my truck) was giving me a hard time and Marilyn’s husband, knowing I needed to get to Maine,  offered to let me used his car…I was treated like gold and felt cherished...the funny part is the cat who had a crush on

At my age, when you sneeze- nothing good happens…and all my clothes are in Wilma…and I am in New Hampshire…you can buy all the booze you want, but try to find a pair of shorts…they had liquor store exits on the highway…really, it surprised me too…I paddled in the Piscataqua River…it was lovely and fragrant

 Take a DEEP breath…you are now in Maine…beautiful seems to be an understatement…as I was in a friend’s car, I was pressed for time…I got to meet with a woman from the governor’s office and women from a local shelter at the Wiscasset boat put in...Meg had brought an Old Towne Kayak for me to paddle in...a few papers came out to get the scoop on the paddle…when a train interrupted the interview, I was invited to ‘Le Garage’ by the owner and given a wonderful meal and excellent service…women from all over the state will paddle with me next year...I am blessed…I was given much good advice…the Governor in this state is very progressive on abuse of women and children, has implemented a 0 tolerance policy…I have to admit, it feels good to see someone stand up for their people…he went from homeless and beaten in the streets of Lewiston to the Governor’s office…he did not get there by being stupid and I am glad he is on our side:)

Upon arrival in MA, I got to see the baby girly pirate get baptized…the old church had been torn down…the new one did not have the same cozy feeling, but the baby was at her best…she slept through the whole ceremony…lol…

My last night in town was a lot of fun…we went to Norton House of Pizza…my parents joined us and we all had fun…sometimes high school feels like yesterday in a good way:)

On the way home, I was making good time until the sky opened up in Delaware and the rain was so heavy it just laughed at my wipers…the rest area was clean and filled up quickly- no one wanted out in that mess…I got a few hours of sleep…as soon as the rain let up, I was on my way

As night fell, I found myself on the North Carolina coast…a friend offered to meet me for a moonlight paddle…to see so many critters was really cool…I was in a 14’ fishing yak…it had so many gizmos…this really made me feel like I was going to capsize from being top heavy…lol

As I came over the Florida line, I think Wilma got energy from out of thin air- she kept up at 65 mph the whole way home…every single mile seemed to take forever…I stopped in Lil Talbot area and my friends made me lunch…it was filling and a nice break from the road…her kitchen overlooked the shore and we spoke of the things kayakers speak of- paddles, animals, water and new kayaks…we got to paddle for a few…I missed my husband and dogs, so I pressed on...I was so happy to see electric Mickey on I4 as I know it is only an hour till I am home:)…pulling up in the front yard, I think I woke the neighbors with my horn blowing…my body is cramped…I have the missing information and just made the coolest road trip…people have been really amazing

At the end of the day, I feel confident in the trip I am about to take…I am looking forward to it…I am thankful to all of those who are making me better at my craft and who have gone out of their way to help me out…this was not an easy trip, but one well worth it…I have learned so much-it was so freaking cool…May you each feel so blessed

The Girly Pirate