Finally spring is in the air here in the Columbia Gorge. No longer (hopefully) do we need to deal with kayaking in 40 degree rain. Time to go hit some rivers right? That is what I thought too. Then my wife told me that “she wanted to do more things together”. Well I whitewater kayak and windsurf. She paddles a SUP. So what do we do? Well Jackson Kayak came to the rescue with the Journey touring kayak. A quick call to the Kayak Shed in Hood River and 2 Journey’s were ordered. We were excited and couldn’t wait for them to arrive.

We were real impressed when we received the kayaks. They look beautiful. It had “whitewater like” seat and hip pads so it was a somewhat familiar feel. A few adjustments and it was off to the Columbia river. I threw on my Chaco shoes, pfd, skirt and a hat and went to find out how the boat handles. Wow, I am impressed. I’ve paddled creekboats, river boats, playboats and even a slalom kayak, but I love the way the kayak just cruises through the water. Tracks nice and straight. Even my wife who had never paddled a kayak before was able to paddle a slow cruising speed by her 3rd time in a kayak. I found it effortless to paddle along at 2.5 to 3 mph (GPS speed) for an hour and a half without hardling breaking a sweat. I can’t wait to take longer trips and do some exploring.

So if you are looking for something new or something less exciting than whitewater to do with your spouse or friends try a touring kayak.