Blackburn Point Road – February 17, 2013
The temperature is 57 degrees in Key West. I know because I heard it on the marine radio. That same voice that used to tell me the sky was cloudy in Kenora is reading off the temperature in Key West. It might as well tell me the end is near.
A man walked up to me today, a kid really, probably just out of high school, clean cut, his hair gelled in place. I’d watched him unload a canoe with his girlfriend and set it down in the sand. He’d never paddled before and wasn’t sure which way to go, so he asked me because “you look like you’ve paddled before.”
“A bit,” I said.
Then he asked if I knew this beach. I shook my head and told him it was my first time, that I’d come in from the north around Tampa Bay. He thought I’d driven. I shook my head again.
“You paddled here all the way from Tampa Bay?” he said, eyes wide, excited. “No way! You can do that?”
I smiled at him and nodded. His face lit up. He smelled like shaving cream, detergent, and soap. I smell like salt and mud. I can’t believe it’s fifty-seven degrees in Key West.