Cooney State Park Reservoir (9/11/2013)
On Wednesday, I took half a day off work and went to Cooney State Park Reservoir to get my kayak back in the water. This is what life out here is supposed to be! I could never have done this in Atlanta. No doubt traffic would have delayed or deterred me. And, a water hole worth paddling would be several hours away. Today, I packed up and was putting my boat in the water in just over an hour. On September 11th, it feels somehow wrong to be enjoying a simple day, let alone taking vacation time for a frivolous activity. Then again, what better way to remember the lives lost on September 11th than to enjoy the life I have and be grateful for having it. So many were robbed of that.
Before I left, I did some reading and watched a few YouTube videos on proper paddling technique. Turns out I wasn’t doing too badly except for…well, I am loathe to completely embarrass myself on the internet. But, I guess those that are reading this already know I have my moments. So, okay….I was holding the paddle backwards! Hee hee hee! I couldn’t believe it when I was watching the videos! I was watching for technique and then was like, “wait, whaaaaat?” Oh boy. I got it right today. Not surprisingly, it works a lot better when you use the paddle the right way. Oh man. I’d like to have some reasoning in my defense, but there just isn’t any!
Alright, so off I went. To get to Cooney, I headed out past Roberts, MT to the turnoff where I’ve always seen the brown highway sign for the state park. However, at the end of Roberts, I saw a street sign that said “Cooney Road.” Hmmmm…I thought. Surely a road named Cooney Road goes to Cooney Reservoir. But, I’d already passed it and didn’t want to take any chances, so onward I went. Thirty minutes later I was at the water’s edge.
There were several motorboats in the water and at certain areas of the lake, it was a bit windy. It was a new experience trying to deal with a strong wind plus wake. I stayed pretty close to shore to be safe. I really didn’t feel like getting run over by the fancy boat that kept going up and down the middle of the lake, even though I really wanted to cross the lake in my boat. No matter. I messed around with the positioning of the foot brace pedals and the seat. Getting those more comfortable and working on a better paddling stroke made the day a success.
Halfway between the south and north ends of the lake, I spotted this dock. Now, I realize the water is quite a bit lower than mid-summer, but really? Hopefully those wheels roll the dock out closer to the water? But look how high it is! I would hate to think the lake is that low, especially considering all the rain we got this summer.
I paddled back to the put in and realized I could see the ski mountain from the lake.
I finally decided I should head back home and loaded everything back up in the truck. On the way out, I decided to look for Cooney Road. I decided if I saw it, I would go back that way because the way I arrived seemed very inefficient. It took me way north to turn around and come back way south. I found Cooney Road and headed in the direction of Roberts (I think – I am directionally challenged). It was a gravel road, but a nice gravel road. Nicer than our road for sure. It was going well until the road dead ended into another road which looked like it went more towards Red Lodge. Hmmm….turn around? No, I’ve gone too far. Turn right? It looks like a crappy road. Turn left? More like the same gravel road. Street sign? Of course not. This is exactly why I never try these things. I turned left and was happily surprised when it came out in Roberts! I did it! And, it was much, much faster. It probably cut twenty minutes off the travel time. You just have to pull over for huge trucks carrying tons of hay rolls!
I stopped at Sam’s for a celebratory sandwich and beer and then headed home to clean out the kayak (Inspect.Clean.Dry). After all that was done, I came inside and turned on Sportscenter. I can’t believe how much I cry watching freaking ESPN. They had a Sept 11 segment that just had me bawling. ESPN does it to me on College GameDay also. You know, those “comeback” stories, or the inevitable story about some young, healthy kid who was paralyzed playing football. Sheesh. I needed to turn on some “Young and Restless” to unwind!
Instead, I walked the dogs and watched another resplendent sunset. As I close out, Timber is barking at headlights in the distance as he is wont to do. Scarlett is faithfully sitting by the door waiting for the nightly t-r-e-a-t. All is right at Lazy J.