My friends and I enjoy kayaking in the local lakes and rivers but we were tired of going to our typical place and decided to go somewhere new. It was a river/creek that was over grown and just deep enough for us to kayak on. So all 8 of us pile our kayaks on this little river in the middle of mid Michigan farm land/woods. 

We are about two or three miles down the river and we are about 5-10 feet away in a large conga line. Me and my boyfriend got stuck on a downed tree that was barely on the surface of the water. He, being the wonderful 6’1” man he is, gets into the waste deep water and pushed me over the tree. So we are now about 50 feet from our friends ahead. They went around a bend and we couldn’t see them anymore. 

Suddenly we heard a yell, a loud thump, and a large splash. When we get around the bend, there is our friend, standing next to his flipped kayak, yelling something incoherent. He keeps showing us his hands and said he went to grab a vine and there was a spider “this huge” on it and proceeded to show everyone in the group how big it was. 

Please enjoy these photos of my friend and his “huge spider” 

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That is his bother, helping him find his paddle while he goes to turn over his kayak. 

Moral of the story: if you see a spider, stay calm and float on. Or run the risk of flipping your kayak in front of all your friends. 

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@HoughtonLikeTheLake - Oh my gosh! You have me in a fit of laughter. That first photo with his hands showing the spider's size is hilarious!

I have been on your friend's side of this scene a few times too. A snake falling into my canoe in Louisiana led to maybe the loudest shriek of my life!

Have you had any too-close-for-comfort moments of your own while paddling around?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

The only close encounters I have had have been with my friends tipping themselves onto me, other than that no animals/insects have found their way into my kayak/canoe haha

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My partner and I exit the tunnel at Hetch Hetchy Dam on the way to huge Spring waterfalls. In the first patch of sunshine lies a coiled Western Diamondback, and I hadn't seen one in a bit. She's still adjusting to sunlight as I squat in glee. She squints, saying "What is it?"

"Rattlesnake." Instantly her legs acted as if she were climbing a rope ladder to the sky. So she's afraid of snakes, I muse.

Snakes are almost never seen in the Tahoe Basin, or in the High Sierra where we had mostly been together. A couple of more exposure events and she was brave enough for the desert. 

LOL Canoeing in Ohio I did have a large wolf spider run down my hand, onto my back, and then the canoe floor.  I was grabbing a tree waiting for the people behind me to catch up (sounds familiar).  I looked like I had stuck my finger in an electrical outlet from what I am told.

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@HoughtonLikeTheLake 

This is a great, and hilarious, story! Most importantly, however, we have solved the mystery of which kayak accessory @Dad_Aint_Hip needs to purchase next: one of those amazing Hawaiian print shirts! I'm sure @GregA will back me up on this!

Thanks for sharing!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hahah yes! All the guys in our group wear Hawaiian shirts when we kayak, I’m told they are very comfortable. 

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My timing is ALWAYS off - @HoughtonLikeTheLake and @REI-JohnJ , I just got rid of eight... yes, count them... EIGHT Hawaiian print shirts. Now I find out that it's the latest and coolest kayak accessory. Sheesh.

I wonder if Advanced Elements makes a Hawaiian print accessory deck for my boat?

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
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This is the proof we needed! @Dad_Aint_Hip was cool before it was cool!!!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

All of these years and I only find out now that I have been underdressed