Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Dog Days are Coming

In ancient times, the Greeks, followed by the Romans (those shameless thieves of culture), used to associate hot summer days with the "Dog Star", or Sirius from the constellation Canis Major. The light from this star shown brightest between July and August. Consequently, the Greeks began referring to the hottest days of summer as "Dog Days".

Why am I giving this etymology lesson? 

It's May 15th, and it hit 87°F in Salt Lake City, today. Tomorrow it's gonna hit 91°F. I think I'm going to melt to death.

I know I won't receive much sympathy from those who hail from my former homeland of Florida. 87°F is laughable, especially when you consider Utah is arid, and virtually devoid of humidity. Nevertheless, in my defense, I did work the entire winter outside, in temperatures as low a -7°F, with several weeks that never went above 10°F. I will also be working outside during the entire summer. If you think about it, this constitutes a 94 degree span I experienced just today. That span will almost certainly increase beyond 100 degrees, once summer really hits. 

Which brings me to my real point of interest. 

I have set the dates for my Great Salt Lake Kayak Journey: June 8th-June 15th. 

In light of this recent but rapid change in climate, I've questioned this window several times. Be that as it may, there are other considerations to keep in mind. My elbow, though doing quite well considering the heavy training, is still tender. I want a bit more time. Also, my best friend, co-conspirator, videographer, and one man support crew, Lindsay Daniels, is in school until this launch window. She says it would be fine, but I'd hate to risk her grades for my pleasure (or torture, depending on how you look at this amazing act of physical exertion). 

It looks like these dates are gonna stick.

In the mean time, I am setting out a float plan, preparing gear, and training.  

Yesterday, I went out to Antelope for the first time since my injury. I felt great on the water, and I even took a 45 minute nap on the Island. Happily, thanks to my best good cousin Kira Holladay, I didn't experience one iota of sun burn on my face or neck, because I was wearing three different types of sunscreen. (Wasn't her gift basket incredibly thoughtful? She knows me too well.)

Unfortunately, I learned that my arms will require several applications due to the abrasive salt water stripping them of protection. Now that I have this dead sexy tan, I will have to keep that in mind and apply liberally a couple of times per paddle day.