Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kayaks and catalpas

Gave blood today in the early afternoon, and my wife Audrey then dropped me off at Mount Mercy with my bike. Worked a while, napped a while (hey, they tell you to take it easy) and then rode home.

I've ridden home from giving blood before, but it's a bad idea. This time, with a few hours of rest, it was no big deal. I took my time and enjoyed the ride.

I used the urban part of the Cedar Valley Natural Trail that goes by McLeod Run. I noticed Catalpas are in bloom--they are trees with pretty large heart-shaped leaves and bloom in early June with large clusters of medium sized, sweet, white flowers.

Over the winter, I harvested some seeds from a neighborhood Catalpa and have a baby tree in my back yard, show above in its chickenwire cage. Its chances, as are the chances of any baby tree, are not so good, but there is hope. In 15 to 20 years, maybe I'll have a hefty tree with pretty white flowers.

Anyway, besides musing on Catalpa while riding home, I thought about kayaking. It's our summer boating hobby of choice, and we've had them out twice. Photo at the top of thos post is my son Ben and my wife Audrey on May 28, first kayak outing at Pleasant Creek Recreation Area near Palo.

Some people ride motorcycles. I think they look noisy and dangerous. I prefer the solitude, silence and exercise of a bicycle. Some peoplel tool around lakes in jet skis or power boats. Again, they look noisy and dangerous--teen died this week on a nearby lake after being struck by a boat.

Kayaks are silent, which allows you to tune into the sound of water, insects and birds--and hold a conversation, even at some distance, with a fellow kayaker. You can't water ski with a kayak, but padding a kayak is is nice exercise.

Whether on land or water, I'd rater provide the power for a silent form of transport. It's better that way.


  1. I don't like Catalpas--they do bad things to my eyes when they bloom. I haven't tried kayaking, but Sam and I occasionally go on canoe trips. Like you, I love the quiet of it. When Ben comes out to Ames we should go explore one of the nearby rivers. I think we have access to a kayak as well as a canoe or two...

  2. Sort of why I prefer sailing to a powerboat. I hate the noise and stink of the engine.