The Potomac River, for all of the years I’ve worked in Georgetown, has been a nice escape from the windowless office life. I’ve worked in Georgetown for almost 6 years, but until a couple of weeks ago, I had never actually been on any sort of man-powered boat on the Potomac. I even once visited Jack’s Boathouse (Now Key Bridge Boathouse) for a company party that the lady’s company had when she also worked in the neighborhood, but we just ate burgers. There was no hitting the water.
Well, during a particularly hellish week of work post-vacation, I finally escaped the pavement, hopped into a kayak, and paddled my way to some relaxation in nature. Well, my first visit was a no-go. It was a windy day after a storm and the water was white capping. They would have let us take out kayaks (not paddle boards or canoes), but I hadn’t actually been in a kayak since sometime in high school so I figured that wasn’t the best way to reintroduce myself to the sport. So, I tried again later in the week and had more success.
It’s surprisingly easy! You just walk up, fill out a form that says you understand the rules, the dangers, give them the phone number of someone they can call if somehow you manage to get into trouble, they scan your ID, and send you down to the life jackets. You choose the one that smells least terrible, secure it, and head down to the dock. They ask you to grab a paddle, choose a kayak for you, and hold it while they instruct you how to get in. That’s it!
And I found that even though it’s been a decade or more since I’ve done it, it didn’t take long to fall back into the rhythm. I paddled up a mostly calm river and felt myself relax as I became one with nature. Or something like that.
I went again last week with a couple of co-workers. I thought about trying the paddle board, but neither of them were down, and I didn’t think I could keep up with them on the board while they were in kayaks. Another time! I’ve been discussing paddle boarding with other friends for a while. Gotta make that happen before the end of the season! Luckily for me, it’s really easy to get to any of the Boat House locations. The other 2 are Nats Stadium and National Harbor. Hmmm, sounds like an awesome idea for my staycation in just a couple of weeks!