Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lost Pines: The Last Day

We were sad to see our stay at Lost Pines coming to and end, but we were really looking forward to our last day. We had signed up for a kayaking trip for the morning of our last day.

We signed our lives away, and caught a shuttle with 3 guides and 7 other kayakers. We drove a short ways to a long and steep boat ramp. At the bottom there were a dozen kayaks waiting for us along with lifejackets and paddles. After covering some basic information and some safety warnings regarding the perils of getting too close to the shore we picked out our boats and were off to tackle the aforementioned "Class 0 rapids." :)

We stayed together as a group with a guide in the front, one in the rear and one roving in the middle. The current was surprisingly swift to the point where the only paddling we actually had to do was what was required to steer and to keep us going straight.

Along the way we saw patches of star flower beds sticking up above the top of the water. It's foliage with tiny little yellow flowers were visible from quite a distance off and looked like shallow sand bars at first. As we got close to one our guide said they were a popular place for the resident fish to hang out like carp and gars.

The guide also told us that most of the land along the river was undeveloped land belonging to ranchers so while we did see signs of civilization here and there it was mostly forested with lots of trees having low hanging branches hanging out over or into the water.

The area is also a natural habitat for various birds. As we were talking about the herons who spend time in the more shallow and sedate waters we saw a bald eagle fly from one tree to another then give a repeat performance going further down river and crossing the river in front of us.

It is actually a whole different experience kayaking in a crowd. Especially a crowd with such a different range of capabilities. And a relatively narrow area in which to paddle. Though everyone seemed to be handling it with aplomb.

I floated to the back of the group to get out of the crowd from time to time and after a while would paddle back up to the front in just a few sort strokes as the pack stayed relatively close together. On a long, straight, and wide-open stretch of the river I had asked the guide up front if we could pick up the pace a little for a short while. We paddled leisurely, but continuously for most of the rest of the trip.

We were sad to see parts of the disc golf course come into view as it meant that we were back to the resort and that our landing dock would be coming into view far too soon. I knew we would get out at the resort, but I hadn't thought much about how that would really work. My only glimpses of the dock had been from a distance, but I didn't recall a ramp of any sort. I asked the guide and she said there wasn't a ramp that we would get out at the deck. Uh, huh. Sure we will... And how many of us will be taking a dip in the river during this process??

As it turned out there was a ladder, with rungs actually BELOW the level of the boat making it easy with the guide securing the end of the boat to step out onto the later and then climb on up the rest of the way. It wasn't nearly as bad as other dock entries or exits I had tried in the past.

With our kayaking trip behind us with a few hours still left before our late check-out we decided to make one more trip to the pool.
One more spin around the lazy river.
And a few more jaunts down the water slide.

It was a beautiful day and we had managed to find lounge chairs with a table and umbrella right next to the slide. We ordered sandwiches and fries from the pool side restaurant and enjoyed our lunch pool side watching people come and go on the lazy river and all the kids and kids at heart zoom down the slide. We swam once more before heading back to the room to gather up our stuff and checkout.

Though our trip had come to and end we were excited to head back home and see the boys. Though I don't doubt we had missed them more than they had missed us.

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