My side hustle is guiding kayak tours for Slash Creek Outfitters in Hatteras Village. I love kayaking, especially here in the Pamlico Sound and the creek that runs right through the heart of the village. My daughter comes with me on tours sometimes, and acts as a junior guide, helping people in and out of their kayaks or taking the faster people up ahead. My son, on the other hand, had tried kayaking before and just wasn’t strong enough or coordinated enough to do it on his own. I decided to give it another try, since he’s grown and matured a lot in the last year (he’s 12 now).
We put him in a lightweight kid kayak that we own, and I was in my usual Carolina model that I guide in. To my surprise and delight, Hunter was able to paddle his own boat effectively, even with stiff wind.
We didn’t go very far, just paddled around in the creek until he felt confident, and then did a little loop around what I’ve always called Egg Island, a tiny island in the creek that is now packed with houses.
My kids have always been my adventure buddies. I’ve taken them camping, hiking, waterfall hunting, kayaking, paddleboarding, you get the picture. Now that they’re older, we’re able to do some really fun and more strenuous things than when they were little.
I’ve told both of them that someday I’d like to do some kind of major trip, like hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or kayaking the Intracoastal Waterway from NC down to Florida. Now that I live somewhere I love, I don’t have that same desire to leave and go on an expedition, but who knows? If my kids catch the adventure bug and want to do a trip with their old mom someday, I probably wouldn’t turn it down.
It sounds cheesy but, at times like this, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. Here I am sharing something I love with my healthy, happy kid on our beautiful little island. It’s a good life I’m living, and I’m grateful.