Monday, August 23, 2010
42. Try Paddle Surfing
As I noted in my post about Montreal, I've discovered I have some friends who are always coming up with great ideas of new things to do. One of the students who has taught me the most in this year of New Things is Josh, who came up with the idea of paddle surfing (aka paddle boarding), which I had never even heard of till he suggested we do it instead of the kayaking or ice skating I had suggested. And being the resourceful guy he is, he called up the place that rents the boards at nearby North Beach and discerned that if we got there by 4 we'd be able to get an hour in before they closed. So, that's what we did.
I've spent most of the year discovering that most New Things are harder than they look, but the opposite is actually true with paddle boarding. It's really pretty easy. You just get on the board and start on your knees, then stand up and paddle. I can imagine that it would be a lot harder if the water were choppy, but the day we went Lake Champlain was calm, so we had a very easy first time. We only had an hour, so didn't go out that far, but I'd love to try it again with a destination in mind. Towards the end of our hour we took off our life vests and jumped off the boards for a swim, which was quite fun as well, although I had a near disaster when I noticed at the last minute that my only car starter was in the pocket of the shorts I was wearing, and it would have been a long and soggy walk home if I hadn't removed it before the jump.
After our boarding experience we went back to Josh's place, which he shares with his girlfriend Ali, and friends and former students Dan and Derek, and Ali came along with us to a visit to the house's community garden plot. Non-Vermonters may not know this, but Vermonters have a passion for gardening, and there are tons of community gardens all over the place. The other hallmark of any house that Dan lives in is that it will be overflowing with bicycles, and their community garden was likewise easy to pick out because of the bicycle-wheel trellis that their beans were growing on. Josh and Ali gave me a whole bunch of produce, particularly lemon cucucumbers, which have quickly become a favorite snack.
Being the awesome people that they are, Ali and Josh came back to my house to deliver the vegetables and fill the tires of my bicycle, which had gone flat. While they were there, another former student, Dan S., called to say he was in town and came by for a visit. We all went out to pizza and there the outdoor rock climbing adventure that I wrote about as New Thing #43 was planned. Something that I definitely love about new things is that they seem to lead pretty seamlessly into other new things. I guess it's not rocket science to realize that the more you try the more you discover is out there for the trying. But it's a fun discovery nonetheless.
I'm out of languages at the moment (friends, please help me out here!), and I just did a roundup yesterday of what's in the works, so I'd just be cutting and pasting from the last post if I were to put that here. If you're in the mood to get outside in the next week, please check out the Montreal post for activities coming up. One last week before classes start. Rain or not (and we've had entirely too much in the last 24 hours), gotta make the most it.