Swimming in murky Lake Ewauna’s algae-infested waters wasn’t part of the plan.
But it became a necessity after, somehow, my key ring with my car, house and other keys wasn’t in my pocket when I wriggled out of my kayak at Veteran’s Park early Monday afternoon.
The friends I’d paddled with and I searched my kayak, thinking — hoping — they had slid out of my deep pocket during our lazy kayak. No luck. We scanned the area between my car and the docks. No luck. Then out to the area where I dropped into my kayak. The water was deeper than expected, well over my head, so I held my breath and dove to the bottom, a yukky, globby, mucky, disgusting mess. Then dove again, again and again.
A paddling friend I’d met only hours earlier loaned me her car so I could make the short drive home to retrieve a spare key for my locked car. My extra house key, naturally, was in the house, which, naturally, was locked.
Fortunately, I’ve broken into my house before, a task that includes climbing atop a porch railing, grabbing hold of the roof, lifting and hauling myself up, and then, channeling the Beatles coming in through the bathroom window (but not protected by a silver spoon).
That night laying in bed but unable to sleep, I remembered slipping on the broken concrete launching area’s slick green slime while climbing out of my kayak. My revelation occurred about 3 a.m. too dark to test my theory. But three hours later I was on my knees, my fingers probing gaps in the concrete pad, searching. Back and forth, forth and back. No success.
An hour later, telling my story while walking with friends, someone suggested using a magnet. Another hour later Rich Bogatay loaned me a broom-sized magnet from his downtown apartments-to-be work site. Yet another hour later, back at the docks, I read the small print on…