I’ve always enjoyed the “Great Outdoors,” but I can’t always say I’m an outdoorsman in the true sense of the word. 

I’ve never been a big fan of camping, and I don’t hunt. While I appreciate the many beautiful parks that my state has, I can’t say I seek them out. My love for the outdoors has been typically limited to golf, beer gardens, live music, and sporting events.  

The pandemic started to change all that.  

Looking for something that would keep me active and allow me to experience the natural beauty the state of Wisconsin has to offer, while keeping socially distanced, I took up kayaking this past summer. 

Like many outdoor items, the cost of kayaks soared during the pandemic, and in some cases were difficult to find. Apparently, many people thought the same way I did. Not wanting to invest a ton into something I may not enjoy long-term, I found a co-worker who was selling hers and looking to upgrade. 

We agreed on a reasonable price, and I strapped it to my car for the 40-mile drive home, scared it would go flying off my roof and cause a multiple-car wreck on the freeway. Alas, we made it home safely. 

My next effort was to find a place to drop it in the water, which about a week or so later I did. After purchasing my first state park pass in a decade and dropped it in the water.  

I was drawn in by the natural beauty I was seeing at the lake I chose. I spent a couple of hours paddling along with a friend, wasting the time away, and getting a nice workout. 

Life hasn’t allowed me the opportunity to go as much as I’d like, but I got hooked. In my part of the world, the temperatures will soon take a turn for the worse. I’m not sure how cold I want to be when I’m on the water, even though I’ve finally reached the confidence level that I will not tip it over! 

Life again might interfere down the road, but I’m hooked, and ready to take my kayak on the road and discover new outdoor adventures two years ago I’d never have imagined trying. 

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