Week 6: Kayaking on the 4th

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Monday, July 10, 2017


Michael Forkner

This week we had Monday and Tuesday off for the Fourth of July. Most of the weekend was spent relaxing, looking into future graduate schools, and exploring DC. The best part of my long weekend, and probably my favorite day of the summer, was the Fourth of July.

Having spent the last 5 years in Oregon or Colorado, both very outdoorsy states, I have missed all the activities I used to be able to do. The morning of the Fourth, a friend and I went and rented kayaks and spent part of the day on the Potomac. From where we put in around Georgetown, we kayaked up and down the river a ways, and ended up near the mall. We decided to take a break and just rest and watch all the boats go by. We got out of the way and were just floating over by the mall when both a police boat and two police officers from land came over. We had unknowingly kayaked into a restricted area and were yelled at to leave immediately. Even after leaving, the police boat trailed after us for quite some time to make sure we did not return. Besides our encounter with the police boat, there were police helicopters flying over the river every few minutes. Never having been in a big city for a large holiday or event, it was crazy to me how much security there was. After kayaking all morning, we got lunch on the riverfront, just hung out, had a few drinks, and then headed to the mall to watch the fireworks.

Even though we kayaked on a dirty river in the middle of the city, it was still enough of a reminder of being on the rivers back in Oregon, either kayaking or simply floating the river, and it made my Fourth here in DC memorable. While I know I will be sad to leave the city behind, I am excited to go back to the mountains, beaches, rivers, and trees of Oregon. 


Michael Forkner