Austin, Texas

You know that saying, “I live here, I give here”? We’ve managed to give two pair of glasses to two bodies of central Texas water. Ever the eternal optimist, my son –who lost those glasses–remarked that, so far, he’s lost glasses in a lake, and in a river, but has yet to lose them in a stream. I will throw him in that stream, should it come to that…

Aside from losing glasses, we had an incredible time experiencing the outdoors practically outside our own back door.

I’m not what you’d exactly describe as an outdoor girl, however, I do like the outdoors. But, I’m not tall, not tiny, not strong, not limber, and not coordinated. In fact, way back in my late teens, my husband’s stepfather aptly titled me with the made-up Indian name Unsure-footed. A little history: We were in Lake Powell when it became obvious that I tend to fall off everything. Going hiking up a cliff side? Great. Make sure there’s open air to the water below. I will, at some point, be taking a more direct route to the bottom… And age didn’t do me any favors.

So now that I’ve set an accurate picture of what I can’t do, you’ll understand me when I say what I CAN do.

I can paddle board. Wasn’t sure ’til yesterday. So, if YOU are wondering if you could paddle board, let me tell you what you’ll need to know:

You will transfer from the platform to the board on your knees for better balance and safety (so you can’t fall over and hurt yourself on the platform–I first had visions of myself falling forward and cracking off my front teeth, but it was actually very easy to do because the board is quite sturdy).

If you can’t get up off your knees, you can paddle the entire time on your knees, which many people do, but I would think that could get uncomfortable.

I don’t get up off my knees too easily these days, either, and was concerned that my trying to stand would cause me to fall, but you get up gradually, and I was able to do it just fine like this: begin kneeling. place your hands down on the board in front of you holding the paddle. With your hands on the board along with your knees, you place one foot in the place your knee was resting. Then do the other leg. Then, you carefully stand up straight.

If you can do that, you can easily paddle board. Both my son and husband had a couple falls off the board, I, incredibly, never did. It’s not difficult to stay up on it, you just have to be mindful to keep your legs rooted in their spot, especially while turning. You can paddle forward and take a wide turn, or drag your paddle behind you, which causes the board to pivot around making a sharper turn. That’s how they fell. Easily done without falling, but that’s where you are most at risk.

While paddle boarding, we noticed fun little bike-like platforms that one can ride on the lake. So when we returned our boards, we promptly rented bikes.

I can water bike. In fact, almost anyone can water bike! These bikes are incredibly sturdy. You walk onto the  pontoon to get on the seat. There’s a little cubby in front of the handlebars to stow your  purse, camera, etc. It’s so sturdy, you can easily take all the pictures you want of Austin’s beautiful skyline.

I will definitely take my parents on the lake using the bikes. Anyone who can safely walk and peddle will have a blast.

The cost for us:

paddle board 15$ per person per hour.

water bike 17$ per person per hour. (there’s a nifty little stopwatch fastened to the bike to help you keep track of time)

We used Capital Cruises for the paddle boards. EASY parking and access. Parked in the parking garage of the Hyatt, walk through the lobby, down a short staircase and you are there. Parking costs 4$ an hour.

The water bikes were adjacent to Capital Cruises.

Easy-peasy, and fun, fun, fun!
Let me know what you think!

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