Time Well Spent

Posted by Author David Lee

Last Updated June 1, 2023

The deafening roar of a river moving at an incomprehensible speed, or the feel of the
wind graced with droplets of water hitting open eyes, or maybe the smooth, high quality, sheen
of a new kayak under the rising sun is something I have never experienced. Living in Nebraska
my love of kayaking was grown from a different kind of place. Nebraska doesn’t have steep
mountains, crystal clear lakes or rivers, or any kind of amazing scenery that populates
Instagram kayak pictures these days. Nebraska has none of that. Nebraska is home to one of
the flattest landscapes in the Midwest, lakes so murky that it might be sewage, and scenery that
is full of corn and beans only. Yet despite all this, my love for kayaking remains strong.
My first kayak is far from new and is an old garage-find recreational kayak. Summer had
just started and I needed to find a new hobby. Being a college student garage sales were well
known to me and at a small house on A Street was where I started looking. With a worn paint
job, a few dents, one cup holder, and a price tag of $45 it fit my needs. The paddle had a chunk
taken out of it, but some layered duct tape fixed that and just like that it was as good as new (to
me). With a nervous push off, I was soon paddling my way around a lake and began to find a
new hobby for myself.
Spending time in my kayak soon became a necessity for me. Whenever I had a free
moment I could be found at one of the local lakes doing something with it. Summer suns and a
fading blue kayak soon became synonymous with one another. Time spent in a kayak began to
lead me to other great activities. Feeling like a true Nebraskan native, fishing for largemouth
bass was one of the first activities kayaking lead me to. It was hard not to fish when I had my
own personal “yacht” at my disposal, and some of my biggest catches were landed in that
Camping was soon picked up and many great memories formed from that. Tieing down
our sleeping bags, tents, and whatever else could be held without capsizing. A small island had
formed from recent flooding in our favorite lake and it was a special place for us to go. We’d
chopped down small trees and cleared out weeds to make our campground, with our kayaks
beached on the lake rocks. A kayak ferry formed when all of us came together and it shuttled us
from land to island.

The reason I like spending time in my kayak is because of all the memories that the
small, beaten up, faded blue kayak brought. It was the entry point to so many amazing times
and experiences. The largest bass I ever caught was landed from that kayak. Grueling shoulder
workouts and an interest in all things water-related soon came after. The “island” was where I
was given (and later ate) some of the best burgers I have ever had with close friends. And many
other memories were experienced due to that kayak. I have since upgraded and left behind that
kayak, but I owe the time spent in it to many amazing things.

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