For Christmas in 2022, Rose found an awesome deal on a couple inflatable paddleboards online. And by "awesome deal" I mean we barely paid for them!
As many of you might know, Christmas time is a cold time of year. So we didn't get to try out our new adventure toys until the weather got a bit warmer. But finally, it was time! And we were determined to try out our new paddleboards. After a few attempts, at least...
The first 'attempt'
There's a park nearby our house that we regularly visit for our lake-going needs called Morrow Mountain State Park. If you've ever come to visit us, we've probably taken you there.
Aside from some super-cool mountain views, Morrow Mountain also has a little campground. We've always wanted to camp there, so we finally decided to book a weekend — or so we thought...
We know how to get to Morrow Mountain; we go there all the time! But we popped the campground address into the GPS anyway, just to make sure. And wouldn't you know it, it takes us this really weird direction that we weren't familiar with. Whatever, maybe there was another way to get there?
It turns out that we booked a completely different campground! It wasn't Morrow Mountain at all! And the extra funny part is that this is the SECOND time this has happened to us. I guess we're just never going to camp at Morrow Mountain.
But despite our little oopsie, the park turned out to be a great time. At least, until it came time to paddle board.
We were so excited to finally get out on the water. One sunny afternoon, we unpacked the paddleboards from the bag (which is no small feat), pumped them up by hand (which also is no small feat), loaded them in the truck, and took them down to the boat launch. We were going to carry them, but we had already accomplished enough "feats" for the day...
When we got to the water, it was slammed. There were people fishing from every shoreline! Plus, the wind had picked up going down the cove. From our first rental paddleboard adventure in Minnesota, we knew how hard it was to paddleboard in the wind.
To make matters worse, the truck cap refused to shut after we got the boards out — and nothing drives me crazier than when things break!
Discouraged and dismayed, we took our paddleboards back to the truck and up to the campground to be deflated and put back into their bags. They never got to taste the water... Although looking back, we maintain it was a good thing we decided against it. They turned out to be harder to use than we thought, and we wouldn't want all those fishermen to laugh at us!
Needless to say, we didn't take any good pictures this "outing."
Gettin' the boards wet in Georgia
We might not have made it out on the water in NC, but a few weeks later we were back on the road again. This time, we were headed to Georgia, right on the South Carolina line camping on one of our favorite lakes in a lakefront campsite! It was a perfect paddleboard spot.
Once again, we unpacked the boards, pumped them up by hand (while shopping for an electric pump on Amazon), and got ready to hop in the water.
On our Minnesota adventure, we rented hardshell paddleboards. Our paddleboards are inflatable, but they get super rigid with the high air pressure. We were feeling pretty confident wading into the lake. Well, at first...
These were much less stable than the one we first tried! Like I said, we were actually super glad we didn't go out on our previous camping trip. We would have definitely been in drink!
Luckily, our campsite here was in a quiet little cove without much boat traffic or wind. We were able to get our sea legs at our own pace.
We did really well around the bend from the campground. As our confidence grew, Rose wanted to take some pictures. Of course, the minute the camera came out:
Luckily, it was a warm day, and we needed a cool-off anyway.
It was a great day for paddleboarding, and we went out a few times over the course of the day. Standing is fun, but it's even fun just sitting and floating in the middle of the lake. We had a blast.
We had big plans to go back out on the lake the following few days of our trip, but a huge storm had other ideas. We ended up needing to deflate the boards and put them back in the truck so they wouldn't blow away — but we definitely caught the paddleboard bug!
The paddle crew
We never stay put for too long, and before we knew it another trip was on the books. This time we were headed up the coast (per usual) on a work-related trip to Maine and Philadelphia. Perhaps there would be another chance to take out the paddleboards...?
Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to get on the water in Portland, Maine — but it was still awesome! We did, however, get to do some paddles in Massachusetts when we stayed with Rose's parents. There's a little lake not too far from their house that was perfect for paddleboarding. So Rose's dad grabbed the kayaks and the whole crew went to the water.
It was a touch windy and choppy, but nobody came home with wet pants (from falling in, gosh!).
On the way back down the coast, we made a pit stop just outside of Scranton, PA to break up the trip a bit. We had plans to eat at Alfredo's Pizza Cafe (only the elite understand the reference) and visit a train museum just outside of town.
While both things sounded cool, we were a bit tuckered from driving. Instead, we decided to get the paddleboards out for another dip. We again blew them up by hand (the electric pump was in the Amazon cart by this point), and took them down to the lake.
It was super nice out. There weren't any boats on the lake, so everything was quite calm — perfect for paddleboarding. We did a quick cruise around the lake before heading to the trailer for dinner and packing up for the trip home.
A big ol' oopsie
"How do you get all these great photos when you're on the water riding paddleboards!?"
It's a fair question. And the answer is that Rose is very confident in her paddling abilities. She always brings her phone out on the water to capture the great shots. Of course, that sort of thing does lend itself to some risk...
After many successful photographic outings, we were on a lake in boonies North Carolina, and there was a fateful spill. Rose was trying to get into the water to take a dip and ended up flipping her entire board. Her phone (and all our amazing sunset shots from the paddling) went to the bottom of the lake.
Naturally, this was about a week after Rose upgraded to the latest iPhone... Yes, the phone was one week old...
We did get to salvage a few of the photos she uploaded to the iCloud, but many of them were lost to the lake:
Aside from the phone oopsie, this was one of the best paddles we had. It was so calm and pretty on the lake, we spent several hours just floating around and enjoying the day.
We've gone paddleboarding several times since (and I got Rose a waterproof phone holder), and it's still a blast. Get used to reading some more paddle stories as the saga of the Camera Couple continues — which you know it will!
He likes pizza.