Breaking the Law at East Lake

oregon, outdoor, sup touring

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Whilst on East Lake paddling, after witnessing the legendary Ospray and Clark’s Nutcracker engaging in their late summer festivities (the former swooping on fish and the latter, with his compadres, flying in circles, hopscotching from branch to branch near the shore), Mic and I, minding our own business, got in trouble with the law…

The morning was an absolute success. This was Mic’s first trip staying on the paddle board nearly the entire time we were out. He was even calm and still for all the shots I was taking of the birds. I never would have thought it but we’ve seemed to found a really great ‘balance’ (no pun intended) together out on the board. I guess that is why when I saw the Sherif pull up and new the day would be short lived, my heart sank. Little did I know it would be brought right back up.

We were found by Sherif Rusty, in a cove directly across the lake from the East Lake camp ground. When he cut us off as we were exiting the cove, I was pretty sure he was going to sight me for something. It was a miracle he hadn’t shown up 2 minutes earlier when I was docked and relieving myself (number 1) in a compromising local, surly an indecent exposure charge would have followed. In fact, he wanted to know if there was a life vest aboard my “boat”. Since there was not, firstly, I failed the “boat” inspection, and secondly, he couldn’t in good conscience allow me to continue my float because WHAT IF. What if a boat speed by me and I was knocked off? In his eyes I could easily be separated from my board and possibly drowned. What if……

As Sherif Rusty warned me about the dangers of “boating” without a flotation devise, I couldn’t help but notice how attractive his southern accent and shaggy hair were. I asked him to please list more reasons why not to “boat” with out a life vest. I began to wonder if it would be inappropriate to ask him how late he was working and what he might be doing after this lecture…. I mean tons of couples meet when one is getting boarder line arrested right? I began to wonder if it might have been better for Rusty to have shown up 2 minutes earlier… Maybe getting detained isn’t the worst thing in the world after all.

On the journey back to the dock, Mic enjoyed his first motorized boat ride and I enjoyed my first crush on a law enforcement officer. It turns out Rusty was a transplant from Austin, Texas. Of course I was inclined to tell him about my time in the south for education and employment. Our ride back began to feel a little like a romantic cruise when he started pointing out the best sites on the lake, local knowledge style. He showed me where the undeveloped hot springs were, the location of an Eagles’ nest, and so much more. I shared some hidden gems that I had found during my time as a Ranger in the park.

As we approached the dock I prepared myself for the expiration of this short lived one sided affair. After Rusty carried my paddle board ashore, I thought “what a gentleman” and accepted the impending heart ache that follows these sorts of matters. Though, in the end, I was ecstatic to find that all his contact details were located on the Warning Ticket he issued me. I celebrated, showing many people the ticket, even wanting to scan it and post it on the blog. I celebrated until I washed the pants which contained the ticket, safely tucked away in the pocket. The paper morphed into the tinny linty shards that are created by a drier and Rusty’s contact details became everything but ¬†illegible. Alas, love escapes me again. The real tragedy is that I only have him pictured from behind (above). I don’t know if I had to much apprehension or to much sense to ask him to pose in a selfie with me…

2 thoughts on “Breaking the Law at East Lake

  1. My brother and I once each got $60 tickets for not having PFD’s when we were canoeing out to a swimming spot. So, despite the missed connection, at least it didn’t cost you $120.


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