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WIND & WATER
Since I was in college, I've always liked canoeing. We went on several canoe trips with all our floormates from Akers Hall, and even after graduation, dispersal and my move to Chicago, we continued to organize weekend-long canoeing trips in Michigan for several years. We've only gone a few times since moving to Sweden...the local river is a fairly easy one and we've only rediscovered the canoeing bug now that the kids are old enough to paddle as well, and we also have access to the canoes that belong to the local Scout troop, which we're members of. On Friday, we drove north, nearly to the Norwegian border and rented canoes at the top of Noth Bullare Lake (at least I think that's which one it was). The day was windy and there were whitecaps on the water, but paddling south with the wind was fine and we rather imprudently didn't think about the slog it would be to come north again, against it. The sun was sparkling on the water and the mica in the cliffsides.

Lake canoeing is very different from river canoeing, and I have to say I think it's much less exciting. The view changes so slowly that it's as if it doesn't change at all; on a river there's always something new around each bend. One thing which struck us was the absence of people. There were very few homes at all on the water, and for hours we saw no one at all. Once in a while, we'd find a little cove with a motorboat pulled up, but mostly it was just the gurgle of water under the canoe tip, our own voices, the wind, and birds. We pulled up at one rocky cove that just looked pretty, and which we thought was an island (it turned out not to be) and had a drink and a snack and the kids and Simone went swimming. Then we paddled further and finally found a small sandy beach to have lunch on. The sand was swarming with ants, but they didn't bother us, and after eating, we all lazed around for awhile in the sunshine until the kids, who were wading in the shallows, discovered the satisfying splashes and shrieks a strategically plopped rock behind someone could create. Commence rock-splashing and stone-skipping competitions!

Beating back up the lake later, against the wind in very rough waves. wasn't so fun, but we all just put our backs into it and pushed on. Back at the campground where we'd hired the canoes, we rested on the grass under the birch trees while Simone jumped off cliffs and Karin swam out to meet her. A lovely day on a lovely lake with the voices of wind & water singing in the breeze.


Shores of Norra Bullaresjön (photo: Anders Ek)


Pulled up for a break (photo: Anders Ek)


Simone & kids swimming (photo: John Slaughter)


Simone & Martin (photo: Anders Ek)


Simone jumping off the cliff (photo: John Slaughter)
awake
mood: awake
music: Stars—Window Bird


Comments
(Anonymous)

What clear water!!! We had a good vacation but not as much as yours. But our camping trip is the end of this month. :)
Leaving for Cuba tomorrow morning.
Seester

CUBA! I thought you were going to Missouri!!

(Anonymous)

Maybe it is Cuba, Missouri? :) I grew up in Missouri and know there was a Cuba there, though where I don't know!

Joy

What beautiful water! That Simone's a real daredevil.

She's a maniac. And that cliff was nothing, apparently,...only about 3.5 meters. John told me in Corsica they were jumping off cliffs 3x that high.

What a lovely vacation. Are you getting truly relaxed?

You bet'cha!! :D

Looks like you're all having a fabulous time! Happy vacay!

And still a week to go (for me) :)

(Anonymous)

I truly love canoeing, the water is just so peaceful. I also have a single rowing shell, but haven't been in it lately (gotta lose more weight first or I'll sink it!). But some of the most peaceful moments I've ever had have been on a quiet dock with the water lapping against it (think Squam) or just floating on the water.

- Heather

Can't think Squam or I'll get all bummed out. :(

Your husband's photos are brilliant. I love the one of Simone jumping.

How old were your kids when they learned to swim? Did they take lessons or did you just teach them yourself?

We had Martin in babyswim classes when he was less than a year old, but after that it wasn't until around 2nd grade. They both had swimming classes during a couple of summers and swimming in school as well in 2nd and 3rd grades.

Oh, and the photo of Simone jumping was taken by my brother :)

Edited at 2009-07-02 06:29 pm (UTC)

(Anonymous)

That's it. I want to be there NOW. What a thrillingly beautiful place!
~Bethany
(http://www.coffeestainedclarity.com)

The simplest
yet, best times.
Almost looks like the area around here. Really, it could be.

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