Today (and yesterday...oops!) I am thankful for the opportunity to try new things here in Arizona. Back in September (I think), Ed and I decided to try an activity that was completely new to us - river kayaking.
We'd both kayaked plenty in lakes, including Lake Tahoe, where it can get a little bit choppy, but have never tackled moving water. We figured the Salt River, where we were headed, had to be pretty tame, since it is a popular place to inner tube and drink heavily with the ASU crowd.
It was forecasted to be its normal warm self, so we were excited to be starting at 9:30, before it got too sweltering, and to be on the water where it would surely be cooler.
The kayak company had you take off in groups, so we headed out into the water with about 10 other individuals. We quickly realized that river kayaking was great, as there was an actual current to help you along! This meant we were moving forward without any effort at all. This also meant we had a huge problem with ditching our group, since the others weren't super interested in paddling (especially the group who were pre-drinking and who brought along an additional six pack).
We waited behind every so often, usually after the little rapids. Rapids where definitely fun - just enough to get your heart pumping without actually being dangerous. One guy did fall out on a rapid, so Ed was awesome and helped him get back in. It was hard to imagine wanting to go down those in inner-tubes, though. They were definitely more rapid-y than I'd imagined!
The kayaking adventure, all told, was about 2 hours, including lots of hanging out, to make sure we didn't get too ahead of everyone. There were a ton of people out (and lots of litter - very sad at the irresponsibility of the college kids - the river floor was coated in beer cans), and it was obvious that this was a super popular excursion for everyone in the valley.
Afterwards, Ed and I seriously talked about buying our own kayaks so that we could come back many more times - we enjoyed it that much! It was so nice to be active and cool in the late summer days, and getting to see a brand new part of Arizona. Plus, it was only about 40 minutes from our home, so it was an easy adventure to reach.
Of course, our little one threw a bit of a wrench in our big kayaking plans. But, who know, maybe next summer we'll fit in a kayaking date :).