In the last week Wynston has gone boating and kayaking for the first time! My mom and I rented a paddle boat on a whim in Payson, and that’s where I found out that I can rent a kayak also! As I discussed in the post about Wynston’s boating adventure, I’ve been really wanting to get out and discover more of what the world has to offer Wyn and I. So today we drove up to Payson to rent a kayak. And let me tell you – it’s my new favorite activity!
Wynston’s First Kayaking Adventure
I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about kayaking, but for so long I held myself back from trying anything new. I had all these preconceived notions – I wasn’t “outdoorsy,” I wasn’t in shape enough, I didn’t know how to do it. Excuses. But I’ve said enough it enough. I want to make the most of this life with Wynston and I’m ready to put all of my selfish, ridiculous feelings aside.
Typically I wouldn’t want to try a new activity unless someone was guiding me. The thought of going out alone to do navigate a new physical task was daunting. But I did it!
I’m not really sure why I decided to go kayaking on a Thursday but it was the most perfect decision. Kids are back in school, which meant no traffic and there were very few people at Woods Canyon Lake.
The entire two hour car ride (yes, in Arizona we have to drive far for access to lakes) I was excited. I honestly didn’t have any anxiety. When we pulled up to the Woods Canyon Lake store, the parking lot was nearly empty. I unloaded the car and walked into the shop – “We’d like to rent a kayak please!” It was happening, folks. I was doing it!
Wynston and I met a gentleman and his dog along the way. Her name was Roxy and she was a Boston Terrier. Roxy was the same size, colors and demeanor as Wynston. She was SO cute. They played for a bit while the man and I chatted. He said they were camping in the area and saw probably 100 elk last night! That’s really cool for those of us desert dwellers. He continued to tell me that Roxy is his camping partner and they do everything together. Oh, my heart.
Afterwards Wynston and I made our way to the dock to pick up the kayak. The two attendants were seemingly bored when I walked up and said, “Hi! We’re here for a kayak!” They got a bright green kayak all set for me, when one of the guys said, “Okay, get in and I’ll push you in.” He pointed to the kayak sitting on the dock. “Uh, I’ve never done this before.” “Oh, you’ve never kayaked before?” I replied, “No, what do I do?” He gave me a 20 second run down, then I got Wynston and I situated in the kayak. He straight up pushed our kayak off the dock into the water and we were off. No turning back now!
Wynston wasn’t phased by our shove into the lake. I had put a beach towel down on the bottom of the kayak so Wynston immediately got comfortable. I maneuvered our items in the kayak so we could get into a groove. We floated, while I took in my surroundings.
Then, I started using the paddle. Turns out it’s super easy! I was so worried that it’d be difficult and I wouldn’t have the strength necessary. Instead all my anxiety went out the window. I became mindful and relaxed. The weather was perfect, there was a cool breeze, and I drifted into a state of peace and serenity.
Wynston seemed to truly enjoy the kayak. He was taking in the sights and sounds, watching the couple other dogs that floated by on paddle boards, and focusing on any fish that jumped out of the water. Since I was prepared with that beach towel, Wyn had a nice cozy spot to chill out, and he certainly did. I honestly think he slept for half of our ride! The slight rocking of the kayak is enough to put anyone to sleep!
Why wasn’t Wynston wearing a life vest?
I came prepared for our kayaking trip. I did have Wynston’s life vest on hand, but he didn’t end up wearing it. The water was calm, there weren’t any boats that can cause waves (they aren’t allowed on this lake), and Wynston has zero interest in swimming or going overboard. He relaxed between my legs the whole ride or he slept. Some people might not agree with my choice, but it is my choice. If I had any inkling that Wynston wanted to go in the water, I’d have the life jacket on him. I will continue to bring the safety device with us on water trips and will put it on him as necessary.
What will I do differently next time?
I figure I will learn something new on almost every kayaking excursion. From this one I learned that I need padding for my butt! Sitting on plastic will give you a sore bum, no joke. Next time I will bring an extra beach towel for my butt, and one for back support.
What worked well?
I brought a fanny pack for my wallet, phone and extra items, and it worked phenomenally. I can strap it to my waste, giving me the ability to carry other items in my hands, and it doesn’t take up much space in the kayak. I brought a collapsible bowl for Wynston’s water, which was great, and I had snacks in the fanny pack. I’m glad I wore a hat to give my eyes extra protection, and flip flops were fine shoes to wear. I had the beach towel for Wynston to lay on, and that is a must-have. I packed Wyns’s Gold Paw Series UV sun shirt, so I dipped it in the lake, rang it out and put it on him. He stayed nice and cool this way!
Kayaking with Wynston was the most fun, relaxing activity I’ve ever participated in. We have plans to go kayaking two more times in the next couple weeks! I may look into purchasing a kayak if I find it’s a hobby that I want to continue with.
Have you ever been kayaking with your dog? What tips do you have?