“So what do you want to do today?” That’s how my wife and I start out many a Sunday morning conversation over the top of our reading glasses, the paper and a cup of coffee. On a beautiful morning like today, going Kayaking is one of our favorite pastimes. We load up the truck and Molly, our Jack Russell Terrier, and head down to the Imperial River or Leitner Creek behind our house. Most of the time we team up with a group of friends, but every once in a while we like to go without a schedule or any agenda and just quietly paddle along the dark waters of the River while Molly, perched precariously on the front of my kayak, with her butt up in the air, bites at the water.
Which reminds me… falling out of a Kayak is entertainment, a sport, and an art form all in one. Molly is really good at it and she seems to have a system. As we paddle along she periodically looks back at me and gives me that “Geez… could you paddle any slower Methuselah” look. So, being an obedient pet owner…I paddle faster… much faster. Consequently, as her excitement and confidence grows, she gets bolder and leans a little more until you hear the sound of scrambling claws on hard plastic and then…SPLASH… “dog overboard!” Strangely enough, for one who was trying so hard to reach the water, she is always surprisingly anxious to get out. This is all funny stuff, until I feel cold water splash up my back… a signal from my wife Lori, that I’m having way too much fun at the expense of a terrier who is acting just marginally less intelligent than me. So… I hoist Molly out of the water, she shakes water all over me… and we do it all over again.
If you want to try your hand at Kayaking, there is an outfitter in the City Park and others in the area. I wouldn’t worry too much about falling out though. After all, it rarely happens and when it does there always seem to be plenty of people watching. This is actually a good thing and a pretty fair deal when you think about it; In exchange for people having to hoist you awkwardly back into the kayak like a large trout they are rewarded with a good laugh and with being able to tell the story over and over.
Once you’re back in the boat and on your way you will be amazed at the peace and beauty of the Imperial River, its many Creeks, and Estero Bay. Who knows? On your journey upriver past historic homes you may glide silently over a manatee while maneuvering around the giant cypress trees that rival those in Big Cypress Swamp. So, this weekend grab your kayak, or visit your local kayak outfitter for everything you need (dog not included), and head out for an adventure on the waters of Bonita Springs.