Tandem Kayaking…Just Say No

By on 1 November, 2017 in Brandie Johnson, Fun with 0 Comments

Photo by photocracy

Before my husband, David, and I moved back to Montgomery, I lived in Wetumpka for 12 years. Since migrating to Dalraida, I’ve made the short trip to Wetumpka many, many times; not only to visit family and friends that live there, but also for a little weekend fun.

I know it may seem like a city whose downtown could fit inside of the Crampon Bowl Multiplex likely lacks entertaining things to do, but Wetumpka actually has quite a bit to offer.

I’ll admit that when I lived in Wetumpka I rarely did anything there. I was always driving into the big city (Montgomery) to go out with friends. In my defense, Wetumpka didn’t have nearly as many shops and restaurants when I was a teenager. It wasn’t until David and I joined a kayaking small group at our church, Church of the Highlands, a couple of years ago that I realized how much the city had changed.

I had never been kayaking before; I’m not exactly the most adventurous person when it comes to sports or other outdoor activities. But I figured it’d do me some good to branch out a little. So we met up with the group early one Saturday morning and off we went to Coosa River Adventures, which is situated along the edge of, you guessed it, the Coosa River. Since I had never kayaked before, we thought it best for me to share a kayak with David (it was also $10 cheaper).

It wasn’t best.

Tandem kayaking requires very, very good communication and patience. We are both independent people and we’re always sure we’re right. When you’re trying to paddle and steer a kayak you can’t have two captains. Aside from the occasional (near constant) battle for the skipper’s hat, we had a fantastic time.

The bus ride from the Coosa River Adventures office to the launch point was an adventure in and of itself. Think old school bus with no seat belts, narrow roads, and a bus driver I can only assume was attempting to qualify for the Daytona 500.

I went ahead and put on the kayaking helmet they gave me. Once we got to the launch point, the kayaks and oars were already out. Employees of Coosa River Adventures were on hand to get us in the water and on our journey down the river. Some people brought fishing poles and small anchors so they could stop and fish along the way. Others stopped at spots along the way to picnic, or just to rest. We chose to rest by occasionally putting our oars down and just floating. We also used these moments to munch on snacks and reapply sunscreen. For the most part we rowed pretty steadily and arrived back at the main office (which is the landing point) in roughly three hours. And David and I didn’t flip over even once, I might add.

By the time we had rowed for three hours in the hot sun (there was a lovely breeze on the water though, thankfully) we were all ravenous. Wetumpka is still a little limited in food options. It’s mostly fast-food restaurants, which is fine, but we all wanted to try a local place. We settled on Grumpy Dog which is located downtown, by the courthouse. They have hotdogs which you can top with a myriad of things or you can get the daily special. It’s usually some unusual concoction which you might have to be a culinarily brave individual to try. David got the daily special that afternoon, I can’t honestly remember what it was but it was interesting. He loved it. I went with a classic, a hotdog with ketchup. You can get just the hotdog or you can get a combo which includes chips and a bottled drink. There’s seating inside and outside. Like I mentioned, there was a nice breeze that day so we opted for a table outside, under a large umbrella. We inhaled our food and then we sat under the umbrella for a good 20 minutes trying to catch our breath.

Once we had recovered from our unofficial hot dog eating contest, we went for a little walk around downtown, where I spotted a sign advertising milkshakes.

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs you know I not only love a good meal, I love a good dessert. David and I split a very large, very good chocolate milkshake from River Perk and it was the perfect dessert for such a hot day.

I keep saying I’m going to try their coffee but I just can’t resist a milkshake. Maybe one Saturday I can convince David to split a small coffee and a small milkshake with me. If not, I’ll probably just order both for myself. I’ll just be sure to have David drive so I can lay down in the backseat afterwards.

It pleases me immensely to say that I can still visit River Perk, as well as Grumpy Dog and Coosa River Adventures. All three local businesses are still going strong two years later. I’ll continue to support them and hope to see them operating for years to come.

You should stop in and say hi, and tell them Brandie sent you. They won’t know who that is, but you can still tell them I sent you. Oh, and if you go kayaking with another person, spend the extra $10 and save your relationship.

While you’re in downtown Wetumpka, you should also visit The Gab, Stoddard’s Bait and Tackle, Gold Star Park, and the half-dozen other little shops that populate the idyllic streets down there.

Brandie Bradshaw Johnson is the managing partner of The NewSouth Bookstore in downtown Montgomery. In her downtime she enjoys: reading books, crocheting, cuddling with her two dogs, hanging out with her best friend/husband, David, and watching The Golden Girls.

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