Thursday, May 18, 2006
Have you been speeding lately?
Summertime is the season for getting out on paddling adventures. Several big time expeditions are underway or will be and many of us will soon be heading out there as well to do our thing. No matter what your plans are, there is often a question of how far to go in the time you have. The relationship between these two variables is what we call 'speed'. When you add in the third component of 'where', then you can refer to your speed as your 'velocity'. So what's yours?
If you're booked into a group outing, then how fast you go and what you get to actually see as you paddle along will be determined by the skills of the group. Add an inexperienced, slower paddler, and the whole group slows down to a speed just above 'drift'. You can nearly drown in the flower smells as you gradually drift by them. On the other hand, you can go out with the racing crowd and never see a flower, let alone smell one. Again, it's your call.
The choice is yours. You can pick and chose who you paddle with. On commercial trips, that option is more limited, but usually the outfitter will let you know who's in the group and the general skill level of the paddlers signed up. Another option is to travel solo. Here your speed is what you make it: fast when you want fast, slow when you prefer that.
The best option of all is to find that special someone who paddles the same speed you do, shares the same ideals as you do, wants to stop at the same places and race to the same campsite at the end of the day. Partners like these are out there, but they are not easy to find. Cross your fingers however, and keep on searching. There's got to be one out there for you if you keep looking! In the meantime keep paddling, stay positive, stay calm and watch for the speeding signs...