Out On The Water
To get used to the board, I started out sitting on my knees and let the wind take me wherever it pleased. Unfortunately, it took me straight into a massive bunch of weeds floating in the water. With a little gusto, I decided to pick up the pace and paddle in the opposite direction.
The weather was perfect, and the water was a great temperature, too. At one point, the breeze finally stopped, and I decided it was time to stand. Well, I mean, fall—a lot. It was my first time on a stand-up paddleboard. I felt confident enough to try standing, but I ended up losing my balance quickly, and I fell headfirst into the water. I held onto my paddle like it was my only lifeline, even though I was wearing a life jacket. You can say I’m one for the dramatics. I swam back to the board to try again.
“I’m up! I’m up! Look at me, Jo-… nevermind.”
No surprise here, but I fell again. Only this time I fell backward. Compared to reentering a kayak or canoe, getting back on the board is pretty easy. After a lot of trial and error, I stood again, and this time I stayed standing! We paddled around for a while, then sat on the boards to take a breather and snap some pictures with the disposable waterproof camera we brought. I could have stayed on the water forever, but it soon came time to head back to Float Eureka. Turns out deflating the boards was easier than inflating them, and we were out of there in 10 minutes.
We pulled in, and Schreffler helped us haul our gear back inside. Jordain and I walked across the grassy yard and, just like that, we were in our room at The Wanderoo Lodge. At that point, it was time for a cold shower and a nap in our comfy king size bed before we hit the town.
What to Do in Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs is full of cozy restaurants and bars that make for the perfect weekend getaway. Thanks to some of Spencer’s suggestions, we ended up at the popular Italian restaurant Ermilio's for dinner after walking up a steep hill. If you didn’t know: Eureka Springs is extremely hilly. The wait was more than an hour, but the food was worth it, and we passed time drinking and playing games in the bar upstairs.
After we trekked back down the hill, we ended up at Chelsea’s Corner Cafe & Bar where a brass band was playing, and the locals were dancing the night away. This bar has a ton of character, which we loved.
In the morning, we made one last stop at Oscar’s Cafe for some breakfast sandwiches and coffee. Like a lot of cafes in Eureka Springs, this one is in a house, which adds to the homey feel. After walking around the town for a little bit longer, it was time to make the short trip back to Springfield. Our weekend getaway had come to an end a little too quickly.
Floating Tips From an Amateur
Don’t be afraid to fall in. Once I accepted the fact that I was going to fall, I did better because I wasn’t as nervous.
Bring sunscreen. All that time in the water means you’re going to need to apply and reapply!
Stash your stuff. Think about what to do with your keys beforehand. If you drop them in the water, they’re probably gone forever.
Inflate your board fully. Make sure you put enough air in your board or standing up will be close to impossible.
Start slow. Paddle for a little while on your knees. When you feel confident, try to slowly stand up with feet equally spaced apart.
Act quickly. If you drop your paddle, pick it up right away. They float, but not forever.
Enjoy the float. Bring along a waterproof speaker and waterproof camera if you can. The lake is quite picturesque.