On Saturday, we got out the kayaks and headed to Beaver Island for Paddles Up Niagara 2014.
The morning started with a 7am Poker Run from the Beaver Island launch at Ferry Village, around Strawberry Island then returning to the launch in Beaver Island State Park lagoon.
It was a nice paddle; a beautiful morning with a little bit of wind. We collected our poker tickets along the paddle at the River Lea dock, just off Strawberry Island and then once we landed. Though we didn’t win anything this year, that must mean that next year will be our lucky year. The prizes were donated by local paddling shops.
We were lucky to head home after picking up the car for a quick breakfast. Nice to live a couple of minutes away. Next year we’ll probably plan ahead and picnic. We were starving after that workout!
Upon returning, we watched a safety presentation and then kayak, canoe and paddle board presentations before heading out for round 2. The afternoon paddle went back down to the Ferry Village launch, around Beaver Island. At the launch we were rewarded with a bottle of water and a wish for happy paddling!
I must fess up that the first quarter of this paddle was hard. One advantage of being with a group is that you’ll start talking and the paddle will flow. I was ready to throw in the towel after the first quarter of the trip. We were against the current, the wind had picked up and I was suddenly so very tired. Persistence is king. I hung in and once we turned the tip of Grand Island, were with the current, it was like a gift. Got harder towards the end with the wind and some rough river. Being with friends made it easier to finish! Once we made it to the lagoon, it was smooth paddling to the end.
We had bought tickets to the fundraiser luncheon at River Lea and I’m so glad we did. Lunch was tasty and we were treated to a tour of River Lea from the President of their board, Curtis Nestark. On a busy day, he was generous with his time and shared the fantastic history of River Lea, it’s connection to Grover Cleveland and rich Grand Island history.