Running In Fog

Feb 12, 201310:39 AM

Running In Fog: HeartLand Boating Humor


Kayaking in the Heartland

Every year, in the middle of a cold snap, we all long for one of those super-hot summer days. Today was one of those super-hot days, and I was not enjoying it. Summer had ended, the kids were back in school and the cool breezes of autumn could be felt in the early morning. But now, Indian Summer was here, and it was worse than July.

I hated it, but Nemo, my Black Lab, hated it more. So, I took him down to a nearby stream for a run. It’s a public area, wooded, wild, with a dirt track that ran down to the water as a quasi-boat ramp for kayakers, tubers and canoers who were looking to ride the stream until it met the river about 10 miles away.

This stream was not like running the rapids. Indeed, if a blazing, screaming, death-defying stream was a 5, this was more like a 0.5. It was lazy, but cool and pretty with trees hanging over the water. A perfect spot to listen to the water and give the dog a run. Off we went.

Splush. He ran headlong into the water. Only about 12 inches deep for half of its width, the stream had a good splash zone. Tail up, tongue out, the dog ran through the water chasing frogs and fish and floating sticks.

Then, the kayakers showed up. Now, in the interest of fairness, I must disclose that I want two canoes or kayaks just to ride this very stream with family and friends. I’m buying one next spring. But, gosh, they’re a noisy bunch. They always travel in herds. And they always gibber-jabber.

Unfortunately, I could only ever hear part of the conversations. It would start out as a mumble, then when they got closer and I could hear them clearly. Then, just as they seemed to be getting to the juicy parts, they would start to drift too far away and all I could hear was the mumbling again.


And so it went.

Mumble mumble mumble.


“And then I said, ‘Suzy, I read that text message from George. You told me you were staying home on Saturday night. And then Suzy said that she and George were just friends, but it sounded to me like they….’”


Mumble mumble mumble.

And they were gone. Poor guy. Hope it works out for the best with Suzy.

The next bunch was heading around the bend.

“I told you over and over and over that I do not want you driving my car and bringing it home empty young lady.”

“Mom, I only drove to the movies and back, honest.”

“The tank is empty now. It was full when you left. And, Kaitlyn, why does the odometer say you drove 90 miles?”

“Mom, you are so….”

Mumble mumble mumble.

Sounds like Kaitlyn got busted.

It’s like this all of the time. I lost my beloved Snoopy two years ago, so I like to take Nemo out for some special bonding time. We run and splash and have fun together. But we try to stay quiet, we try to absorb the sounds of nature while we play in the water. It’s good for both of us.

Then, the kayak-yak-yaks show up, whining and complaining and yelling and arguing and on and on and on. I want to yell for them to shut up, but I would probably only sound like a mumble to them.

But I did learn a lesson: Next spring, I’m only going to buying one kayak.

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About This Blog

Pam McDanolds has been writing "Running In Fog," a humorous look at our favorite pastime, since 2007. In her family are two kids, a black lab named Captain Nemo, a powerboat and a sailboat. Illustrations by John R. "Jack" Cassady.




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