Going it Alone Ain’t That Bad

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I’ve been getting to know better what it’s like to live life alone. I am not alone in spirit, of course, but have been thinking about what it’s like to do every day without anyone else being around. To go through your life, and work, all without human interruption. With the house empty after the kids got their place, I’ve had to adapt to vast quantities of solitude.

Today I got restless and had to get out of the house–no more cleaning! So I put my kayak in the truck and went to Barton’s Cove. Here I slipped into the busy waterfront with big boats idling, waiting to leave and new motorboats of all description lining up to back up their trailers to the river.

I paddled out, noticing that my short kayak tends to be pushed in the opposite direction of each paddle a little more than I’d like, and realized that’s why people have such long and sleek vessels. The longer ones don’t have the oversteering problems.

I got out in the current and to a place across from the launching where there are reeds, and only about six inches of water. I let the wind push me back, and then paddled, then let myself drift.

Two women entered the water, each piloting her own kayak, one yellow one red. One wore a cowboy hat and a bikini. They paddled for what seemed like five minutes then I saw them coming ashore. The world’s shortest kayaking trip, then they were strapping their kayaks to their Toyotas each with her own boat and own import to strap it on.

I sat for a while, thinking that I like the river kayaking better. I like having the drift, and getting from point A to point B. But today I didn’t want to leave my bike locked and try my own Deerfield excursion, so instead I rode a trail through farm fields that was dotted with plaques explaining the terrain.

You can do all of this by yourself, I realized. No friends needed, and a nice afternoon of exercise all by me self.