Memorial Bridge to Key

The day after the Nation's Triathlon, I couldn't wait to get back on the water.  Another Monday means another lazy day on the placid Potomac.

My favorite place to launch my board:  West Potomac Park.  Where exactly?  Wherever you can.  Wherever the drop to the water is not too steep.  There are several spots where the seawall is not so high or where it has caved in, replaced by large, jagged rocks.  Just lookout for the snakes and rats, and you should be fine.

The paddle from Memorial Bridge to Key Bridge is pleasantly scenic and remarkably tranquil.  Contrary to what you might think, stand up paddling is a very social sport.

Unlike rowing, where you are always facing backwards and not looking out at other boaters or your surroundings, stand up paddling, like running, actually brings you to other people.  You're constantly looking out.  After all, you're standing tall on your feet and from a distance, it looks like you're standing up on the water.

Either you're waving at others, smiling back at people's stares, or candidly posing for a shot, people all around are curious and gaining interests.  And I'm more than happy to wave back.

And there is the plethora of after-work joggers making their way from Georgetown to the National Mall and back.  You see them as you paddle past the Kennedy and you see them again as you head back, wondering if their run was just as fun as my paddle.

Once at the Key Bridge, an easy two mile paddle, I dive splendidly into the placid Potomac.

Passerbys on Key Bridge watch in alarm or amazement.  Some wondering whether I'm in trouble or just plain mad.

Neither, I say, I've found paradise on the Potomac.

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