After a three year absence, Saturday I returned to my favorite Cincinnati event, the Ohio River Paddlefest the nation’s largest paddling celebration. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for kayaking. I have not kayaked since the 2015 event, so I was hopeful it would be like riding a bike and it was. Since the last time I participated the route changed and the course made longer, 9-miles. They were expecting over 2,000 paddlers. I dropped my kayak at the launch site on Friday, so I didn’t have to get up extra early on Saturday.
Launch time was between 7 – 8:30a, so I was definitely towards the end of the pack when I started. I packed PB&J sandwiches, a 32 oz bottle of Mango Gatorade, and a frozen solid Vitamin Water, Energy flavor to keep myself nourished, since I didn’t have time for breakfast.
I like to paddle to the beat of the music I’m listening to. I had my Pandora station shuffling between about a dozen artist and I was crossing my fingers there would be a good mix of slow and fast songs. It balanced out, but I did use each commercial break (about every 4 songs) to take a drink and bite. Fatigue started kicking in at what I’m guessing was about mile 6 and then the most perfect song came on, Natalie Merchant’s, Where I Go. It was all about letting your mind go while at/on the river. I abandoned paddling to the beat and just enjoyed a leisure pace to the finish line where I was greeted with a giant happy face. I most certainly was. After grabbing a combo meal from the Red Sesame food truck, I loaded my kayak and headed home.
One would think I’d be too tired to do anything else, but once I got my kayak back in its perch in my basement, I changed into my work clothes and continued working on my headboard. I was bound and determined to get the back portion of the headboard done that day. I’m not going to go into too much detail as I’ll do a dedicated post, but I’m so proud of how the back turned out I actually posed with it. Folks that know me, know I don’t do photos. I’m torn on leaving it natural, allowing the poly I’ll apply to pull out the colors or staining all or some of the slats. I’d love to get some feedback from anybody reading this post.
I worked until 5p. I was showered and in the bed ripping ZZzzzz by 7:30. I was sore, tired, but oh so happy. Enjoy the additional photos of Paddlefest and put it on your calendar for next year. I’ve always done this event by myself (kayaking is a great single person activity), but I’d love to have someone join me next year.