Yesterday I sold my old Warhorse for a few pieces of silver. That’s exactly how it feels today. The Warhorse was my first “real” kayak. It was the one that didn’t break, didn’t bend in the heat of the sun and allowed me to grow as a paddler. It was in the Warhorse that I first paddled the Apostle Islands. In the Warhorse I first played in waves and rough water on Lake Michigan. This was the kayak I had when I performed my first “real” rescue.. and split the seams crashing onto a break wall. I passed my 4* paddler course on Tybee Island in the Explorer as well. I did trips with friends, taught more classes than I can count, learned to roll, and even learned my first traditional rolls in the old beast. Over the years, the warhorse cracked and faded. I’d bought other newer, fancier, more nimble kayaks. In the last few years I rarely choose the Explorer when I went out to paddle. Still, at least once a year I would take the old beast out, like a faithful old hound, for a quick sniff around the woods and a scratch on the nose.
Funny, when you think about it, I’ve seen a lot of the world over the nose of that kayak! Yeah, it’s just a kayak. It’s gone to a good home, but I’m still feeling sad today. Some of us just get emotional about these sorts of things.
I was surprised and really didn’t know how to react when the guy who bought the kayak, a complete stranger to me, called me back after he got home with the kayak last night. I expected him to say he’d changed his mind. I mean, it’s a beat old kayak these days… But no, he wanted to tell me how happy he was to have it! He wanted me to know that he wouldn’t rebuffing a scratch or filling a crack. He got it home and decided he wanted to keep every scar.I’m not sure how to feel.. He was going to take it on adventures to the bayous of Louisiana. Maybe out on the Mississippi. And maybe, just maybe, someday he’d try to learn to roll it. Sounds like a great home.
Still, I’m going to miss the Warhorse…
OK kid. Take a deep breath, turn around and walk into your future. Times are changing and there’s a lot more to come..