I've been thinking about a couple ideas for months now that will return my freedom to wander in a cost effective manner. Having lived most of my life in the land of 10,000 lakes (Minnesota), water related activities have always been a draw.
Fishing has never been a key focus in my recreational activities, but I didn't want to completely rule it out either. Florida allows old farts like myself (at least in a few more months) to fish without a fishing license. By fall when I turn 65 that's another option I plan to take advantage of.
The answer, for me at least, was a kayak. For a few hundred dollars I have a boat I can carry with one hand like a heavy suitcase. Toss it on the roof of my Jeep with a few straps and I'm ready to head out. Zero maintenance, no license required, I can leisurely enjoy secluded water ways with little effort or cost on a spur of the moment schedule, perfect!
I was still able to drop my stiff old bones into the kayak without falling into the water. Once seated, I was snug as a bug and quite comfortable. I felt a bit wobbly and unstable for the first 15-20 minutes of hugging the shore line as I got my uncoordinated body working smoothly.
Before long I was getting more comfortable, and the stability issue melted away as my body understood the art of keeping my balance while seated. This is no big trick and I recommend it for everyone!
I chose a well protected bay that had very calm water. Plenty of people around incase something happened, and at no time was I more than a block from the launching area. Not much in the way of a current to drag me too far away either . My first time out, over estimating my endurance could have been disastrous.
I was on the water about an hour. In that time I saw my first manatee, actually just his nose as he came up for air. A strange bird that stayed under water except to pop his long neck and head up for air as well. He was fishing for food along the shore. Never did see his whole body, just his neck and head when he came up for air.
I made a drive yesterday to Ocala FL and placed an order for the other half of my recreation plans. My motorhome is pretty much stationary now. Over the past year I have found that though big is comfortable for the long term RVer, getting into small out of the way places is either impossible or at the very least plenty awkward. I've had to pass up lots of interesting possibilities just because maneuverability ruled out any notion of going there.
If I'm to explore on any sort of affordable level, I needed something small, lightweight, and inexpensive to travel in. Enter the Runaway Camper Company.
|Range Runner (Runaway Campers Photo)|
With a set of roof racks on top, I can strap the Kayak on top, and be gone for the weekend, the week, or even a month in no time. I ordered the Range Runner model which is 6' wide and 8' long. Enough room for two to sleep with room to spare.