Outside, giant, wet flakes fall from the sky. The wind gusts, blowing the snow sideways. Pulling on a suit of neoprene that is perhaps still wet from yesterday’s river adventures is anything but appealing. In fact, all I really feel like doing is curling up under the blankets with a good book or my laptop, and it would be the perfect day to do so without feeling like I should be doing anything else.
But the creek is rising.
Still, I waffle. We’ve gotten a lot of good Trough Creek runs in this winter. Is one more worth the discomfort of frozen hands and feet and the inescapable chill that seeps all the way to the core?
Evan decides it’s worth it. He makes the phone calls, sends out the texts. I’m still undecided. I could just run your shuttle, I say.
Tony and Jeff get back to us. They’re in. I haven’t paddled with either of them in too long, and the four of us would make a solid, fun little group. I’m more and more tempted to join in.
But it’s so cold out, for late March. This weather is all well and good in January, but shouldn’t it be just a little warmer by now? Especially after the harsher-than-usual season we’ve had this year. By this point, I’m more than winter-weary. We’ve been teased by warmth and sunshine, then the cold seems to return with a vengeance, reminding us to not get too comfortable just yet.
In the car on the way to the shop, I make a decision. I needed to paddle. If I didn’t, the boys would come back and talk about how much fun they had, and I’d be jealous. The weather is what it is, and the water is what it is…and if I didn’t embrace it, I’d regret it.
So I pull on my suit of neoprene, which has, thankfully, dried out since yesterday, and we load the tandem canoe on the car. There’s no going back now.
We drive to the creek, get on the water, and make our way downstream. Jeff and Tony are continually smiling, happy to be back in boats after too long, and Evan and I are having a great day together in the tandem. My feet and hands are frozen, and when I get out of the boat, I once again think, this is the coldest I’ve ever been (I think this just about every time I get out of a boat after paddling in cold temps). But that’s all okay, because it was worth it. No matter how hard it is to drag myself out into the cold or rain or snow, it always seems to be worth it.