Nala goes kayaking

  Photo:  Me on my kayak trip on the Wenatchee River

Photo:  Me on my kayak trip on the Wenatchee River

Oh goodie.  Oh goodie.  Yay.  Yippee.

We are up here at the cabin.  Am looking out the window in the living room.  Watching her carry the little blue kayak down the hill.  She is trying to mimic Sol who balances the big kayaks on top of his head.    Oops.  There it goes over to the left.  She hefts it up.  Then it slops over again.  She looks like a wobbly blue turtle as she makes her way down.

Lays the kayak on the ground.   She's  looking at the river which is accessed by going over a steep embankment.  Probably factoring me into the equation.  Decides to lower the canoe to the river's edge.  Gives it a little push.  It slips over the embankment into the river. I hear her shout.  The kayak is travelling all by itself.  She hops and slides down.  Jumps into the river.  Splashing.  Not sure if she's swimming or water-running.  Grabs it.  Makes her way back.  Parks it where it should have stayed to begin with.  She climbs back up to the cabin.  Shorts leaving puddles as she  rushes about.

Me, I'm being patient.  Finally, she's changed into a neon pink bikini.  Waterproof wallet bag strapped around her waist along with a water bottle.  The ice cubes clang each time she takes a step.  Safari hat and sunglasses.  A real fashion statement.   I'm standing there.  Thinking.  Hurry up.  Hurry up.

She straps on my life vest.  Yah.  I know.  Sounds awful.  I'm no baby.  But actually, I feel quite snazzy in a nautical way.  There's a handle on the top of it so if I can't figure out how to get back in she can grab and lift me to safety.  It is bright orange and clashes hideously with her bathing suit.

We lock the door and head down the hill.  I try to roll in something odorous and delicious but she tells me to stop.  Reach the water's edge.  She puts the kayak in.  Gets in.  And so do I.  This is the tricky part.  It is small.  My two front feet go on the prow.  But the back feet just can't get comfortable.  So I put them on top of her thighs.  Haven't had a manicure lately but she doesn't complain.  Relieved we're actually in.  And off we go.

She's decided to paddle up the river and then we will float back.  This is so fun.  I'm shaking with delight.  There are gulls and little birds and baby fish in the water.  I don't know what to look at first.

Bump.

I try to disregard but there it goes again.

Bump.

She keeps hitting my behind with her paddle.  Tries to push me forward.  Tells me to put my feet on the floor instead of her.  But I don't want to.  I lurch to the right.  The kayak is tipping because I weigh 28 pounds dry.  And I'm wet.   So she better leave me alone.  My hind feet make their way back onto her thighs.  And I decide to tolerate the bumps.

A group of four people in different colored  kayaks are coming by.    They are smiling and pointing at me.  They get closer and say they thought I was a little kid until they got closer.  She makes pretty with them.  I'm focused on a bird and ignore them.

Next up are a couple in two kayaks.  The man has a benji dog on his prow who is not wearing a life vest.  Which is lame.  In my opinion.  They wave.  She makes pretty with them too.  And I act supercilious.

She's doing a pretty good job of paddling until we get stranded.  The water is low from lack of snow melt this year.  We are not moving.  Stopped on pebbles.  She stands up and gets out.  I do too.  The water feels good.  It hits me just below the knees which is not very high. I prance around in it.  She starts pulling the kayak.  We have a good ways to go.  The river has been slow up to this point.  Now it's moving at a good clip.  She gets to a part where the water is about a foot deep and tells me to get back in.  But I don't want to.

There's a bird who is catching baby fish.  I am transfixed.  Imagining how wonderful it would be if she would let go of the leash.  I would then skim over the water to the bird.  And then get it.  I'm not sure what I would do if I did get it.  Since I've never gotten one before.  And I don't think she'd be happy with me. But I don't care.  And then she is ruining my day dream.  Tugging at me and saying: Nala get in.

By now I'm wrapped around and under the kayak.  She has to untangle me.  I jump in.  But the bird takes off.  So I jump out.  The kayak goes backwards and gets stuck on the pebbles again.

She tries to push us forward with the paddle but we are too stuck.  She tries to push with her arms but that's a fail.  She has to get out again and pull it along.  Gets back to the spot she thinks will work.  Gets in.  I'm still watching the bird and pull her backwards.  Predictably she falls out of the kayak into the water.

This whole getting unstuck business goes on for about ten minutes.  This is a long time for a human when there are people who have set up camp along the shore on the other side and you are their entertainment.   Me, I don't care.  A second bird has now joined the first.

Eventually she gets us out of there.  I'm firmly planted on her thighs.  We go for a bit longer until we get to another point where she'll have to get out again to pull us.  Instead she decides that's enough.  So we turn around and go back the easy way.   Downstream. Back to the cabin.

I try not to chuckle as she drags the kayak back up the hill in that bikini.  Run in a perfect loop around her legs.  Watching as my leash gets tangled.  And almost drops her to her knees.