Thursday, September 24, 2009

Boardom: Get Up, Stand Up

Valliant and Ryan Hickey approach a beach for a quick recharge during the 7.5-mile paddle from Easton Point to Town Creek in Oxford, Md.

Count me in. If it sounds fun and/or epic, I don't want to miss it. One of the reasons I try to stay in reasonable shape running, longboarding, etc. is that I don't want to have to sit out any adventure that stacks up to be cool.

That's what happened when Joel Shilliday proposed a 7.5-mile stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) trek from Easton Point in Easton, Md., to Town Creek in Oxford. I hadn't spent much time on a SUP and can't recall the last time I paddle more than a mile in a kayak, canoe, etc. But I wasn't going to miss connecting two towns in a way almost no one has done.

Joel, Ryan Hickey, Jim Campbell, and I set off at around 6:40am with the sun coming up, boats departing for a local fishing tournament, and flat, following seas. I grew up on the Tred Avon River, making the same Oxford-to-Easton route hundreds of times in a 13' Boston Whaler.

The view from a SUP board on a scenic waterway equals the full body workout you get from paddling while standing up. And the Tred Avon River boasts creeks and cuts next to multi-million dollar estates; by water, you are able to see what's at the end of the long, wooded lanes you pass driving along Oxford Road. All you need is a Robin Leach voice-over.

Jim had to turn back about half-way to make a meeting and Ryan, Joel, and I continued on, arriving at the Oxford public ramp next to Schooners Landing at about 9am, with one brief sandy beach layover, mostly just to enjoy the trip and the morning more. That was my first stand-up paddleboarding trek of any substance. I look forward to many more.

Ted Knab, Zach Skaggs, and me Mikey V. at the western end of the Cross Island Trail, Chesapeake Bay and Bay Bridge in the background.

My primary adventures in "boardom" come on a longboard skateboard. We had a fairly recent group skate on the Cross Island Trail on Kent Island earlier this month, further details of which can be found on the Rise Up Longboarders blog. The next uber-longboarding adventure will come in mid-October as we take the RUL crew to western Maryland for 21 miles of smooth, scenic pavement (42 miles round trip if we do the whole trail) on the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

That trip is another case of something that looks way too fun to pass up. I can't imagine many folks have given the whole trail a go on longboards, as the discipline of long distance skateboarding isn't as widespread around here as it is, say, in the Seattle area. Novelty aside, though, it just looks like a blast--a windy, scenic paved trail, no traffic, as the fall foliage starts to re-color itself.

So the fall adventures are shaping up. We've got some trail running designs, both locally and beyond; some longboarding road trips; and some fall stand-up paddleboarding, not to mention a fall road marathon or half-marathon. The kind of stuff that makes me want to rise up early out of bed and cruise out into the cool, fall weather.


LbL said...

MIke, I love your blog, how am i just now discovering this??

ANyways, I bailed on FB for a while, but I will still be posting up here.


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