Saturday before last my wife and I joined paddlers from the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association (NDAA) for a four mile paddle on the Lamoille river in North-central Vermont. The day was perfect, after more than a week of scorching temperatures. The water was cool, yet pleasantly swimmable. The company, adults and kids alike, mirthful. The day was sponsored largely by a grant from the Kinney Drugs Foundation.
My wife and I shared a tandem kayak, as we often do in order to limit the strain on my arms. (Using crutches already puts a lot of wear and tear on my Polio weakened arms.) Even so, my arms and hands were severely challenged by our nearly two hour outing. We also repeatedly slathered ourselves thoroughly with good sunscreen. In spite of that, my arms burned. Burning is a side effect of Bulbar polio, and seems to become more of a problem as I age.
We put in on a sandy beach. Jennie and I had no trouble getting into the kayak and away from shore, as the beach was gradual and sandy, and the water warm and shallow. We walked down from the access road. Others rode their manual chairs, or were carried by a gang of able bodied folks down to the river in their boats! As it turned out, we would need their help at the other end, where the water was fast, the incline severe, and the bank and bottom very rocky. There was no way I could navigate the exit! So Jennie politely requested aid, and four very large men jumped into the water, picked up the kayak with me in it (Oh, I wish we had a photo!), and ran up the bank to a level area at the top!
All this was followed by a scrumptious lunch at a nearby winery (Boyden Valley Winery), where we began new friendships and refueled, both most welcome!