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row, row, row your boat..

June 2, 2009
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One night, K and I were walking around town when she spotted something strange on the balcony of a nearby apartment building. “Is that a kayak?” she asked, pointing at the orange object that leaned precariously on the railing. It was. I don’t even want to guess how the kayak’s owners get it down from what was at least the eighth floor, but that just goes to show how strong the kayak culture is in Seattle.IMG_2136

But since I don’t have a kayak, K and I turned to the next best thing: a rented canoe from the UW Waterfront Activities Center. Even without the student discount, it was cheap and the location is great. We paddled around Union Bay and circled the Montlake Fill, my favorite birdwatching haunt. I wouldn’t let K get as close to the land or the wildlife as she would have liked because I didn’t want to disturb the ecosystem, but we still saw quite a bit. A beaver startled us by swimming close by and suddenly slapping its tail on the water, and I couldn’t help but point out the many Pied-billed Grebes, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Great Blue Herons that we passed.

IMG_1525It was a gorgeous evening and by going later in the day we got to enjoy it in peace. We had planned to get an earlier start, but the Center’s cash-only policy sent us on a wild ATM hunt. This worked out for the best, though, because we didn’t have to wait for a boat. And although we only paddled for about an hour, it was a great end to K’s visit. After canoeing, we treated ourselves to a “fancy” picnic on the shore of the Montlake Cut. We splurged on some “fiercely local” hummus and smoked salmon from the U-district farmer’s market and bagels from Grateful Bread, and toasted the evening with some two buck chuck in my SIGG. Sustainable AND classy.

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