Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Mother’s Day Kayaking Adventure

“I want to do a family adventure but I don’t want to pack food, clothes, or gear.  I just want to show up and have fun.”  That was my request to the CragDaddy when asked how I wanted to spend my Mother’s Day this year.  Originally we’d planned to go climbing, as that’s pretty much always Plan A this time of year.  But we had trouble finding partners (story of our lives of late), and no one was psyched to get back in the car again after just returning home from the beach. So we opted for Plan B, which ended up being my favorite Mother’s Day yet!  

Stopping on one of many “mini-islands” for a family photo opp courtesy of some other paddlers.

Having 2 full days at home is somewhat of a luxury in itself – Friday night I got a massage that was absolutely heavenly.  CragDaddy and I tagteamed at the climbing gym Saturday morning/early afternoon, and then the whole family went to Carowinds! (It’s our first year as season pass holders, and we can’t recommend it highly enough – if you are local to the Charlotte area, it’s a GREAT deal…but that’s for another post!)

Kids being kids in the water…also, MAP shoes!

If the festivities had stopped on Saturday night, I would have counted it as a great Mother’s Day.  But our grand finale family kayaking adventure (the one I didn’t want to pack for) at Landsford Canal on Sunday really put the weekend over the top for me.  This was actually my second time paddling through the breathtaking spider lily blooms along the Landsford Canal State Park stretch of the Catawba River.  The first time was last Mother’s Day, when Big C and I paddled it, and CragDaddy and Little Zu ran our support shuttle from put-in to take-out.  This year, I wanted to take Little Zu along as well, and CragDaddy of course didn’t want to be left out of the fun.  We talked at length about the best way to get everyone down the river – buying another boat (we’ve been looking into getting another anyway, but haven’t decided what we want yet), renting a boat (kind of inconvenient since they don’t rent on site), or taking turns (shuttling the car twice would DEFINITELY be annoying.)  

Taking in the beauty!

We weren’t coming up with any good answers, until Big C finally said, “Can we all go together?”  CragDaddy and I looked at each other.  Four people is a LOT to have in a kayak, even though we would still be under the weight limit by about 30 pounds or so.  There’s just only so much leg room in a 13 foot boat.  But we figured we had nothing to lose by trying.  When we got there we played around with different seating arrangements (on land.)  The great thing about our inflatable kayak is that the seats are removable, so we can put them wherever we want – ie, give Big C and CragDaddy’s long, gangly legs more room than Zu and me. 

No shortage of joy in this boat…but leg room is at a premium!

Once we got our seating beta in order, we put in and did some test paddling close to shore.  We were definitely riding pretty low, and CragDaddy’s and my ability to maneuver the boat with small children in our laps was rather lacking.  But everyone was game for some adventure, so off we went!  We crashed into a couple of rocks.  We got stuck a few times.  But the shenanigans were totally worth it, and potentially made it even more fun.  Wild laughter ensued every time we hit a bump, and the kids were all smiles when they got to get out and stretch their legs amongst all the lilies.  We even counted 5 blue herons!  When we reached the take out point, the kiddos and I splashed around the river while CragDaddy hoofed it back up the trail to get the car to come pick us up.  

So with two years running, I guess you might say we now have an official Mother’s Day tradition!  That means we have a whole year to pick out another boat…because with the way these kids are growing, I seriously doubt we’ll be lucky enough to go 4 strong in our little boat next year!  As I reflect on the weekend, I’m so thankful for these 3 people God has given me to do life with.  They are the best adventure buddies a wife and mother could ask for!  For all of my fellow adventure mamas out there, I hope your weekend was just as special – please feel free to share a comment on how your family adventure’d (or just RELAXED!), because I love hearing your stories!

All done and waiting for CragDaddy to pick us up.

OH!  And PS…the kiddos’ water sandals from M.A.P Footwear were perfect for this adventure.  I reviewed this company’s kid shoes in a previous post found here.  And I’ve got great news if your small explorers need new kicks for the summer – check out the full line of M.A.P products here , and enter CRAGMAMA20 when prompted at checkout to redeem 20% off your order!  Small print: Promo code is valid for 20% of full priced product and on order placed now through June 3, 2017 at 12:01 EST. Promotion is only applicable to first time customers and valid for one transaction per customer. This coupon cannot be applied retroactively or combined with any other M.A.P. Shoes coupon code.

 

 

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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN