Self-Care September: Kayaking on Harrison River

***This is not a sponsored post***

I couldn’t remember the last time I had done something for the first time. I was browsing a “deals” website when I came across a discounted kayaking trip for two with Harrison Eco Tours. I purchased to use with no anticipated date in mind. I am not a strong swimmer and had the idea that I would need to exercise more to have the ability to paddle for the two-hour tour. I had a list of all the reasons I probably wouldn’t be able to do it in my head, but then the email came advising that the offer was expiring soon and I decided that wanting to have the experience was stronger than the discomfort of trying something new.  The website did advise that it allowed children but upon reading the fine print my daughter was a year too young to participate. It turned into a great opportunity to spend time with a Mom that I was an acquaintance with but never had the opportunity to hang out with alone.

I tend to only visit Harrison in the summer, and hadn’t been this year, so I wasn’t anticipating the construction in the area. Most routes to get into the downtown area are closed so it was a bit stressful that morning to get to our tour with all of the detours. It would have been nice for the company to mention with the reminder email. Luckily we were on time and had no issue finding parking. They have recently added paid parking to the downtown area but was inexpensive at $2/hr. Our tour started at the beach in front of Harrison Hot Springs Resort.

After signing our safety waivers, we went to the beach to meet our guide, Karla. After getting life jackets on, Karla gave us tips on where our feet pegs were, where our legs should rest and tips on how to hold our body to keep control of our kayak. We were given different options on how to paddle in the kayak and how to correctly hold the paddle. The getting in part seemed a bit daunting and after Karla assisted us into the water there was a minute of instant discomfort. I did almost flip myself over within two minutes of being in the water by myself.

When I didn’t capsize I was able to relax, get out of my head and start to enjoy being in the water. Our tour consisted of myself and two other women who had never been kayaking before. It made the pace very relaxed. We paddled through the Harrison River. The water was calm and there was not much of a current to compete with. The water was also very shallow which was comforting to be able to see the bottom because had I tipped over I would have been able to stand comfortably. I wasn’t anticipating seeing as much wildlife as we did but we were fortunate enough to see seals, eagles, and sturgeons. It was very peaceful. Aside from the sound of our paddles hitting the water the only sounds we could hear were nature.

Our guide was a local to Harrison so she was able to give us tips on local lakes to visit and hiking trails in the area. She let us decide the pace of our tour very relaxing. We didn’t have to feel any pressure to paddle fast or keep the pace with anyone else. At times we would all spread out and maintain the ability to hear if Karla tried to tell us something. She kept us on time without being pushy which made our two-hour tour literally feel like we had just got out into the water as it was ending. I really enjoyed the day and would kayak again without hesitation. I was also extremely happy I didn’t have muscle soreness from the tour the next day which I was anticipating.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to wear to kayak but I ended up in a hoody with leggings. The day was partly cloudy but warm and I anticipated the paddling to make me feel warm. I am happy I dressed for the water and not the weather as it was cooler at times once out there. I did get my legs fairly wet from the water dripping down from the oars so if kayaking for the first time I would recommend bringing a change of clothes.



  • Overcoming Fear of Unknown
  • Sense of Accomplishment/ Self-Confidence
  • Keeps Your Brain Active
  • Encourages Yourself To Keep Finding New Opportunities
  • Great Way To Meet New People
  • Opportunity To Have Fun
  • Helps Break Feeling Like Your In a Rut

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