Spring may be coming someday, though Punxsutawney Phil seems to have put it off for a while. Right now I’m waiting for two 30″ snowstorms to melt, and hoping that the next one scheduled for early next week just fizzles out. All this snow really is good, it will add to the lakes and may help raise the water table that has fallen over the past few years.
So what can we kayakers do to spend their time. while snowbound. If you’re lucky enough to keep your kayak in the living room there are probably at least half a dozen small things to work on, replace decklines, renew bungee cords, fit a better seat cushon, etc. You know, those little things that ought to get done, but fall through the cracks when good paddling weather calls for us to be out on the water.
If your boat is burried under a few feet of snow, or drifts are keeping you from the (unheated) boat shed you’ll have to settle for some planning and day-dreaming. It’s time to haul out the guide books and load up Google Earth
Planning your ultimate dream trip may be fun, but if you’re like me it is sort of impractical. In stead I have been thinking of something closer to home. Oh, I know of lots of put-ins within an hour of me, and have Sea Kayaking Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay: Day Trips on the Tidal Tributaries and Coastlines of the Western and Eastern Shore for day trips within a couple hours drive. I’ve read this book and have used it for a couple trips last year.
Two more that I don’t have (yet) are Sea Kayaking Virginia: A Paddler’s Guide to Day Trips from Georgetown to Chincoteague and Sea Kayaking the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. Area. Both of these are on my wish list.
But I’ve been thinking of something a bit further. That’s where Google Earth come in. I’m in the Mid-Atlantic – near the Chesapeake, so I’ve been scanning the Atlantic shore from northern New Jersey (about 3 hours away) to northern Georgia (12 hours drive). The shorter drives would be about right for a weekend, but the longer drive would be more suitable for a week long expedition. These would be do-able. Longer trips, like Baja, are just not a practical drive from the east coast and fit into the day-dream category.
Give Google-Earth a workout around your location and see what looks good. And while you’re at it, if you are GeoCacher one of these trips may lead you to some Hydrocaches, those that can only be done by boat. And of course set up a Cache along a route pocket query and make the drive more enjoyable.