Original Blog Post: February 7, 2020

I’ve always believed that a little self-awareness goes a long way. For instance, I am very aware that I am a great idea person and list writer person and getting things started person. I am not a great maintaining the daily drudgery of chores person. Or in other words, I am rather undisciplined and easily distracted by shiny things and chocolate. And chocolate wrapped up in shiny things. I knew when we added #44 “Paddle Every Month of 2020” that it would take a whole lot more effort in the winter months this year than it has in past years. But my self-awareness also brings an understanding that this might be the last winter that I push myself to get out there. The older I get the more aware I am that grey, damp, cold wintery days do not lend themselves to walking, cycling, eating healthy, or paddling. Curling up in front of the fire with a sudoku game on my phone, nibbling on chocolate chip cookie dough, wrapped in a blanket wearing soft cotton sweats and cozy socks is much more inviting in January.

I had technically already met my January paddling commitment but Helen was unable to join in on the New Years Day paddle, so we found a day that worked for both of us and circled it on the calendar with “paddle rain or shine ! “ beside the date. It rained. Hard. It wasn’t a long paddle. We launched at Derby Reach campground, paddled upstream across the Fraser, under the bridge that indicates the mouth of Kanaka Creek and continued a couple of kilometers to the wetlands at the edge of suburbia north of Lougheed Highway.

We saw lots of ducks. Mallards.

I will admit that the best part of the paddle was drinking hot chocolate and eating the apple cake that Helen brought… in the car with the heater on, wearing soft cozy dry polar tech pants and top which had replaced my sodden wet neoprene farmer jane now heaped in a pile with my PFD, sprayskirt, boots, and gloves.

Of note: I have a renewed love for my Goretex rain hat and am deeply saddened on the realization that my favorite green jacket is no longer waterproof and must be retired.

The most ridiculous part of the day: applying formerly mentioned neoprene farmer jane. Nuff said.

Did I mention that there was still snow on the ground?