Yesterday, we ventured out to Dale Hollow Lake for a refreshing break from the broiling heat of Tennessee. Beautiful blue bird sky, cool water, energizing breeze, leisurely paddle across the way to a lovely island, lounging in the shade of a sycamore reading a book and watching the kids splash.
Um, let me revise slightly... Relentless sun, nary a cloud, lake like bathwater, dead calm air, humidity enveloping your body like saran wrap, brief stint in the shade followed by a 26.2-mile marathon paddle around the entire lake!
Okay, I exaggerate a bit. I think it was only a 10-mile paddle and the breeze did cool us ever so slightly whenever a ski boat zoomed by. No, seriously, there were lots of smiles. The kids loved clinging to me and bouncing in the wakes of boats.
And when they were exhausted, the crawled into the makeshift fort Spence built and went to sleep.
Then the marathon began. My first mistake was not looking at the map of the proposed route, thinking ignorance would be bliss. But an hour later when my unprepared shoulders were screaming and all I could see in any direction was water!!! I started to regret being a sheep in yet another Spencely adventure.
It's not the first time my beloved has subjected me to utter misery. Like that time at Joyce Kilmer slickrock wilderness...or that time at Roaring River gorge with the paddle-til-you-die takeout. After 8 years, you'd think I would remember that Spence's middle name is Overshoot or Bite Off More Than His Wife Can Chew.
But, you gotta love him. He does dream up the best family outings. We see scenery that no one (in their right mind) will ever have the privilege of seeing.