Paddling Our Own Canoes

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 Road Junkies 0 Comments

BLOWING ROCK, North Carolina — A beautiful clear day + mild temperatures = the perfect day to canoe down the New River.  The river is mild and placid but shallow enough for any good size rock to present an opportunity to get your canoe snagged, which happened to both our canoes a couple of times.

Though this gentle river looks like a great place to float along serenely, we had to do lots of  paddling to avoid the rocky obstacles.  Only occasionally did the water get deep enough for our youngest canoeist to help with the paddling.


A picnic lunch on the riverbank provided a nice break midway in our five-mile trip.  At this halfway point neither of our canoes had flipped yet, though we did see a kayaker who went bottom up.


All fueled up and with rested arms, we continued our journey down the river.  Another couple of hours later we had finished canoeing the New, with no mishaps, no turnovers, and nothing and no one wet that shouldn't be wet.


We had ambitious plans for a Spanish dinner feast with some new recipes from the latest issue of Vegetarian Times magazine.  The main dish was fideua (fid-AY-wah), a noodle-based Catalan dish similar to paella.  For a side dish we would try the garlicky mushrooms recipe in the same issue.


After lots of chopping, dicing and slicing of the 12 ingredients for this Spanish style stew, we finally got the food on the stove.  We were lucky to have five people assisting in the prep or we might still be working on it.  Though our version didn't look exactly like the one in the magazine's photo, the fideua turned out great, and we all enjoyed it.  The garlicky mushrooms were less successful.  The two cups of wine which the recipe indicated would evaporate had to be poured off, but not before it completely overpowered the garlic flavor.  Next time, we'll drink all but two ounces and add that to the 'shrooms.

Finally after dinner, the tooth that had been wiggling around in Emma's mouth for the last few days, broke way to freedom.  There is a small possibility that her tongue might have encouraged this release, but we have no definite proof of that.


Relieved of her tooth-loosening responsibilities, Emma was free to create a new game for us to play.  Called Adventure Challenge, the game had rather complicated rules, that seemed to change frequently.  That was the challenge part.


It was the perfect way to cap off another day of family fun in the North Carolina high country.  We lost one of our group today as Ryan had to return home to work tomorrow.  And now we are five, missing both Grandma and Ryan.