They ask me Why I Paddle

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Senior Member
Some have asked at almost 65 years of age, why I still choose to paddle my old Spartan barge of a canoe. They ask questions like, “Why don’t you get yourself a real boat?” or “When are you going to get a motor for “that thing?” The reasons that I paddle my canoe even exceed the number of strokes that it takes me to get from the Dachshund’s Dock out to our Honey Hole near the Crooked Creek Bridge. (Beyond the boat house to the port side of our bow in the second photo.)

I paddle my canoe because it is more than just a canoe to me. To begin with, the boat was a gift. A gift that I will never forget receiving. Later it became not just a gift, but a labor of love when it was repaired by one friend and later painted by another.

I paddle my canoe because I love to pretend. Sometimes I am the Last of the Mohicans. At other times I am Meriwether Lewis or William Clark exploring new territory. But my favorite character is Santiago from the Old Man and the Sea. He talked to the Great Fish and he understood the ways of the sea. The part of Lake Sinclair on my side of Crooked Creek Bridge is my sea and if only for a little while on a warm November day I can pretend. I can be a boy again and it makes me happy. That is why I still paddle my boat.

I paddle because I like to see how close we can get to the geese before spooking them.

I paddle because with each pull of the paddle my arms and back tell me that my arms are stronger than they would ever be otherwise. Also at 65 my arms and back tell me that at times, I may be more like Lois and Clark than Lewis and Clark. I paddle because I like setting goals and meeting them. I can focus on the horizon and alternate pulling 20 strokes on either side of the boat and gradually but eventually, my target is within reach.

I have fished the no wake zone at the bridge now three times. Today was my best trip there to date. After anchoring around 11:15 AM I proceeded to catch two nice Blue Cats and several small Channel Cats before my prearranged quitting time of 3:00 PM arrived.

I quit at three so Max and I can get back and clean the fish before the sun goes down. Paddling (like walking), isn’t crowded. I don’t go out there on the weekends and I don’t go if it’s windy. If the situation isn’t close to ideal, I stay at home or in the creek.

Max and I had a great adventure today and we appreciate you going with us. We hope you’ve enjoyed the telling as well as the photos.

When you get a chance, come visit us on our "Sea."
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I usually post in the freshwater section. I don't normally put the same post in two places but apparently it is OK.


Senior Member
olcap, you have it figured out, some could go their whole lives without finding it. We all could be so lucky


Senior Member
Great read!

Paddling is great. I just wish my tennis elbow would calm down.
Here is my pup, who would ride my kayak down the rapids so long as I said "let's go"

Really enjoyed your narrative! Brought back memories I have of taking my young son night fishing for crappie on Crooked Creek. Those were some fun times and very productive. Caught many crappie jigging HalFlies under dock lights. I know why you paddle!
Interesting, I think your dachshund enjoys it every bit as much as you do.
Sometimes I just paddle and let my Dad or daughter fish. I could go and be content as the dachshund.

Pretty lake and setting.
Tremdous post. Exactly why I paddle. I never imagine being anybody specific but I am always back in the 1800's exploring.