I have to admit the Sea to Summit XPOT 1.4L was an impulsive purchase last week when I visited the new Bever outdoor store in Hoofddorp.
This last weekend was absolutely gorgeous here in The Netherlands! A full weekend of sun, warm temperatures and camping. We couldn’t ask for much better.
With my back issues finally resolved (at least for now) after two weeks of bed rest I was ready to get out of the house. We headed to our camping site at Camping Spijkerboor located on De Kaag lake.
I wasn’t sure that we were going to paddle very far. In my mind, I wanted our first canoe paddle of the year to be more than just hitting the water. I was determined to do my best and if my back acted up we could always turn back to the camping.
By the end of the day, we experienced a sunrise and and sunset from our Cedar beauty on the lake.
We woke with the birds and started from the boat launch at 0600.
The lake at that time of the morning was not only still and calm but we did not see another soul on the water in our 4.84 km (3 mile) paddle. We returned to the the camping at 0730.
Along the way we saw a good deal of the lake, an adjoining lake called the Vennemeer and the Boekhorstvaart canal I had paddled the previous time out with my kayak.
The canal into the Veenemeer Lake was lined with boat houses.
As we came to the last of the house boats we were greeted by a pair rare birds, the Grutto (Black-tailed Godwit). These marsh nesting birds are listed on the endangered list as nesting areas have been destroyed by agricultural expansion. We had left our better camera at the caravan and these are the best we could get with our cell phone camera.
As the sun peeked through the cloud cover we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise as we entered the Vennemeer. This is a smaller lake but has a nice size harbor with a number of slips. A number of large homes and smaller boat houses surround the lake.
From the Vennemeer we entered the Sweilandpolder via the Boekhorstvaart canal. In the Sweilandpolder we saw another pair of camera shy Gruttos.
As we made our way back to the campground I wasn’t sure about getting under the three bridges that cross the canal with the canoe. Lucky for us we didn’t have to portage and made it under all three of them with flattening ourselves and pushing along under the bottom of bridges. We made it back to the campground just as the other campers started to wake exiting their caravans with sleepy eyes. We sat and had our cups of coffee watching them all with the satisfaction that we had accomplished our paddle before the rest of the campground was even awake.
I paddled mid day a short way with my kayak to test some new equipment. I will write about that in another blog.
The wind picked up during the day. We were unsure if we would get in another canoe paddle. Then as we sat and had just about given up hope of the wind calming it suddenly died. We headed out to see the sunset.
We paddled to the closest island in De Kaag. The marsh at sunset was alive with birds flying and singing. The last boats of the day went past on the shipping channel as we sat and watched the sun set. We then paddled with the last rays of light back to the campground.
We can’t think of a better way to spend a day. Starting and ending on the water with our cedar canoe enjoying the peacefulness.
© The Cedar Journal, 2019, all rights reserved.
Last Monday, before my back decided to put me out of commission, I biked to our camping via train ride to Leiden then I did a short 3 km kayak paddle in the canals around the Spijkerboor Camping.
Now that I am back in The Netherlands I have a bit of time to reflect on my trip last month to Minnesota. Once I finally dipped my kayak in the water at Big Marine Lake I spent the last few days I had of my visit exploring the areas around the Southern edge of the lake.
This will be a blog about Minnesota seen through the Dutch eyes and some of the comments during their stay in Minnesota.
After close to six weeks for me and about four weeks for the hubby of being away from our home we were happy to return early this week.