Life after Work

Crawfordsville to Chicago

Canoeing Sugar Creek, Indiana

After a pre-sunrise breakfast we left Crawfordsville for Turkey Run State Park and found us there much too early for our canoe ride. To pass time we opted for a drive through a bunch of the covered bridges for which this area is so famous for. We managed to find about 5 before circling back to our canoe rental place. Getting the canoe was way too easy. I am not quite sure what I expected, but I thought they’d give us a quick lesson, but no. Another couple who rented two kayaks gave us a few pointers and helped us push off at the entry point and that was it. We were on our own. As our canoe floated towards the first bridge both of us were in a state of euphoria: this was easy! But soon after trouble started -we ran aground. It took us a few minutes to get moving again, trying to jump up off the canoe bench and pushing off with the paddles simultaneously. After a few river bends we got the hang of it, although we had come to the realization that we were not on a Disneyland ride and if we got stuck there wouldn’t be some costumed cast member setting the boat back on its tracks. I began to feel more comfortable soon, but then I was sitting in front and actually knew were we were going. John had to give up control for some extent and it was making him nervous. He kept shouting directions but occasionally forgot that in a canoe you have to paddle right to go left and vice versa and so I had to reverse his directions sometimes but not at all times and it was confusing. In the end we covered 11.5 miles of creek, had lots of fun and only two really close calls – one time we ran on top of a tree, with the bow of the canoe stuck “uphill” out of the water between branches, the other time we almost got pushed sideways into a tree and could feel the water pressure push the canoe towards the tipping point, but each time we managed to get out of the potentially dangerous situation quickly. Another couple in a canoe that passed us halfway down ended up in the water so we did pretty well for complete newbs. We’ll definitely try canoeing again, but will keep the camera in a water-proof bag and wear swim shorts and water shoes. And we’ll practice how to get in and out of the canoe so we can take breaks.

Once we were done with the canoe ride we had to wait awhile for the rental company to come and collect us and the gear. Afterwards we drove to Rockville to check out the Covered Bridges Festival and have a bite to eat. We indulged in a variety of fried foods then headed to the car to start our trek back to Chicago.

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