The other morning as I’m leaving Red Rock Ponds RV Campground, my seventeen foot, orange, sea kayak in tow as I make the quarter mile walk over dry land back to the canal. I’m wearing my paddling jacket, spray skirt and PFD, a strange sight to anyone really. I came upon an grey-bearded black man out for a morning walk with his two little dogs. With a his head slightly tipped and puzzled look as I neared him, he asked “where I was going?” I said back to the canal. He glanced to the side, “to the ponds?” Nope, down the road and back to the Erie Canal. Looking over my boat and noticing the paddle on the deck he asked “how could I reach it?” I mentioned it was my spare and pointed out the paddle I would be using, tucked into the cockpit. Still puzzled the questions kept coming, and I answered each of them as a testament to the amount of planning I had tried to put forth into this adventure. After explaining to him about having the idea to complete this adventure ever since I first moved away from NYS and that I was going to be keeping a blog along the way, he said he just had one more question for me and that he really hoped that what was going to come next and our encounter would make it into my writings. I agreed, although I was unsure of what would come next.
The tone in his voice changed and he asked: “Why do you white-folk always want to do such things?”
I was stunned. We both laughed and then parted ways. Thank you for the laugh early in the morning!