Suggs took me up the Potomac this time – the river that is, no longer am I allowed on flat water lakes. It is November, afterall, so why not squeeze myself into my old triathlon racing wetsuit (it fits a lot tighter now than it did 6 years ago when I was in racing form, go figure) and brave the 50 degree water?
I started my way up the river full of trepidation, uttering only mono-syllabolic responses to Suggs inquiries of how I was feeling on the board. The water levels were incredibly clear and getting lower by the day, so paddling over submerged boulders with the sky and colored leaves reflecting in the water was making me dizzy. I turned my focus to the horizon but found at the first set of rapids that once the water started to churn my vision became much narrower. There was no reflection in white water and that little wave at the top of Maryland Chute sure looked like a giant funnel to me.
I managed to stay on the board for quite some time until the hydraulic in one section tossed me and I plummeted into the cold wet deep. My paddleboard was hung up in an eddy while I got sucked downsteam and had to kick pretty hard to get back up to it. I was in the water for less than a minute but my hands were numb by the time I managed to pull myself back onto the board. That fall was enough to bring me to my knees going back down the Chute. But I’m not ashamed – I am a Board Rat!