Monday, September 5, 2011
Going down the river
My younger son and I entered the river near the village of Kimberly. The river is fairly shallow at this point, ranging from a foot to four or five feet deep in some pools carved by spring flooding or storms.
At one point we came across a fellow holding a cage high, up to his chest in the water. "I'm naked!" he cried in distress when we asked him which way he was headed to take the trapped chipmunk across the water. Apparently to get rid of these tiny critters, you have to move them across water else they will return and they had invaded his home. We paddled on by, my eyes averted to give him some comfort. We chuckled later on.
This was a delightful way to spend a steamy summer afternoon with slight breezes from our movement along the river and the occasional drops of water from paddles splashing us. We're looking forward to finishing the trip which won't be as challenging having few if any windfalls across and deadheads under the river.
For both of us, it realized a dream. Though we had lived in the area when my son was in grade school and through high school, none of the family had canoed the river. I've long been curious about what the river actually looked like and what lived in and along it.
We saw many things that I was unable to photograph, minnows, small fish up to about six inches in size, Canada geese standing like statues tucked into the brush, shrubs and trees, quietly watching as we floated by. A kingfisher scolded us and followed us for many miles as we invaded its private fishing holes. My son saw several Great Blue Herons, I missed them of course until they were high in the sky. And he saw a beaver as it jumped into the water just ahead of the canoe as we neared a bank.
The river itself switches back on itself - going about a hundred or two hundred yards and then curving either to the left of right. Sometimes it was a gradual and gentle curve, sometimes almost a hairpin turn. But it explained why it took three hours to go only a couple of kilometres as the crow flies. A fascinating experience all in all.
May I recommend to each of you that you do something you've dreamed about in the coming months or year? The rewards are unmeasurable!