Over 50 Adventures ROCK!
Just got back from an AMAZING overnight kayak trip down the Suwannee River in what I must say was my most enjoyable river trip to date. Guiding for the Florida Becoming an Outdoors Woman program (Beyond BOW) put me in charge of 6 mostly beginner paddlers for a scenic trip via kayak down the river. Many of us met up on Friday PM to camp in sort of a “meet and greet” before the trip. It was there I learned some interesting facts about some of these ladies.
One just recently had both her knees replaced with titanium. 2 were in their mid 60’s. one had been divorced for 42 years and was loving living life like it was a gift – trying everything she could before she got “old”. They all came from different backgrounds having careers in nursing, education, ministry and so on. All came for the fun and adventure!
Day one on the river was fun, with the river low there was much to be seen of the limestone formations along the riverbanks, and lots of paddling, we were going to have to “earn” this 25 mile downriver trip with almost no current. Not one of the ladies even muttered a complaint! IT was hot – not just your normal summer hot but Florida hot 94 and 80 % humidity. Lunch was the perfect time for a cool down swim, put on lots of extra sun block and time to put on my MK Bison Visor and a MK Organic T-shirt for additional protection. By the time we arrived at camp the ladies were tired, this is when I started to worry. We still had just over half the trip to go!
It is amazing what a shower and good meal will do for the spirit. After dinner we all sat up playing cards and cutting up for hours.
7AM Day 2 – no alarms were needed. Everyone was up and eager to get back on the river. Heck most of the ladies were loaded before I was! This never happens with a younger crowd…
Soon we were on the river, evening rains upriver gave us a little current and with the sun at our backs and water guns in hand we were ready for some fun! Linda was the first to spot the rope swing…. and the first one out of her boat to try it out! After goofing around for a bit we started paddling again accompanied down river by Swallow-tailed kites and Pileated Woodpeckers. Lunch again was time to swim and to calculate the amount of time still estimated to be on the river. We were making good time today (3 MPH – LOL) but I did not want to let them know as I had a surprise down river – Suwannee Springs.
This is a last stop to play when we do this portion of the river. and when we arrived they sure were excited! A beautiful spring with 72 degree temps year round. I told them to go play and have fun and it was like releasing a school class for recess. These women, most who had just met, were off to play with their new friends. After checking out the informational kiosks they headed for the spring. I guess watching the 10 year olds jump off the wall into the spring gave them the thought that it had t
o be safe… first one in – yup, the lady with the 2 new knees! My heart stopped! not only did she jump she was flushed out the opening in the wall into the river and laughed the whole time! Of course she could not be undone…nope. Every one of the ladies took their turn and will here ever after be known to me as “Crew Fearless”.
No one will ever be able to tell me again that age is any more than just a number. I seen this firsthand this past weekend and I am seeing it daily in articles and stories from all over the world. Yes, adventuring is dominated by the young, but don’t give up on the old folks.
I will close by sharing with you a quote from my “first” jumper. ” I just had to try it, why not, what do I have to lose! If I died – I had fun trying, I have had a great life – I just had be able to say I did it. I can’t wait to tell the grandkids!”
For More Photos: White Springs to Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park – appx 25 miles. Stayed at Woods Ferry River Camp. https://notaclueadventuresphotos.shutterfly.com/pictures/10437