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scrambled, the river

Posted Apr 20 2008 12:00am

Yesterday we paddled down the river.

Ducks crossed in front or swam alongside the boats.
They always think they are going to outrun you.
When they realize you are gaining on them, they take off or turn to the bank.

We played in eddys and practiced ferrying.
We talked edges, angles and strokes.

Our kayaks raced down a wave train.
Bows buried.
Hair got wet.

The river widened.

Canada geese blasted alarms whenever they saw the kayaks come near.
They would shout at us until we passed by.
Geese on the river are like hecklers at a ballet.

The river spit.

We battled the current upstream through a narrow funnel.
We dug and dug, advanced, then maintained, then slipped.
The current won.

A turtle slipped off an old blackened tree trunk by the river bank.

Julian managed to sneak up on a Great Blue Heron.
It’s hard to tell who was more surprised.
The Heron leapt into the air right over his kayak.
Big broad wings carried the blue-grey bird into the east.

We found multi-colored rubber ball which would become a gift for a child.

On a slow bend a big Red Hawk stood sentinel on a tall barren tree.
Cardinals, Wrens, Blue Jays, Black Birds and Robins shot back and forth across the river
like artillery from opposing cannons.

We paddled up a side stream full of broken garden rakes. I found a golf ball.
A small waterfall turned us around.

We rounded another bend and were met by a cold wind.

Near the take out the river widens and slows.
In the floodplain the banks are lined with fallen trees & yellow grass.
The air is filled by the calls of Red-winged Blackbirds.

The kayaks sharp noses sliced into the mud. We stretched.
We loaded gear. We drove the bridge back over the river.
We continued home.

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