When our kids first said they wanted to go canoeing I thought back very briefly for a moment when we first took our kids on a canoe while visiting Jellystone Park in Marion, NC.
I asked myself,
remember that time???
Everyone was super excited. So much so they pushed me, Mom, to go first! As I entered the canoe and it took in a small amount of water, I began to rethink the decision to be adventurous! As the kids loaded up, I wanted to look brave as Antwon smiled and pushed us away from the dock but instead I reached out for his hand with a look of fear….
I wanted this trip to be different. Not because I didn’t have a great time last time. Because even though I was hesitant to get in that old boat, I did! I had a blast once I got over the initial flood of fear and thoughts of drownings in a murky pond onsite at a Jellystone Campground. And the kids love it- they had a ball. Paddling our way from one end of the campground ‘lake’ to the other without any arguing! And here we were months later, with them wanting to go on a much longer canoe trip down the lake, again during our time in North Carolina!
This honestly was what our adventure was all about. Trying new and exciting things. Enjoying them and taking it a step further by really embracing pieces of what we had experienced. So on the net, I went. To plan a fun trip down and around Kerr Lake in North Carolina by the Virginia border where we had been staying for the summer.
We packed a nice picnic lunch for after our trip, when everyone would surely be hungry. We wanted to get on the water early in the morning, trying to avoid the summer sun beating down on our miserable faces. Our goal was to go sightseeing on some of the small beaches, we couldn’t figure out how to drive to and then enjoy some outdoor time playing in the fields and at the park.
After a few different seating arrangements inside the boat, we learned the best spot for the twins would be to put one in each canoe with them seated in the middle. The adults sat at the back with one of our older daughters in the front. It actually worked out quite well. Everyone pulled their own weight. We took breaks when our arms were sore and neither of the twins drooped their paddles into the lake! They were so helpful too. Wanting to make sure they did their part- we had to almost beg them to take breaks from paddling.
We ended up on the lake for just about 2 hours. We paddled down one side, close to the shore just in case, and once we saw the first glimpse of a cloud… we paddled right back! We ate our little lunch, as a cute family always does… played a few games of catch and then wrapped the day up and headed back.
It was a great experience, one that required we all work together. Overall, it was a huge success- free from anxiety, bickering, and electronics.