Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Pleasant Day Paddling

It could have been the warmest night of the trip to date and in any event allowed me to sleep with my sleeping bag unzipped. There was some drizzle throughout the night, but it had cleared by morning though the sky was still gray.

Just as we were setting off, we were met by Larry, the reporter that we had met the day prior as we just entered town on our way to the grocery store. We spoke to Larry about our trip for a little while and then set off for the day.

We had a slight wind at our back and I was thrilled. The miles just melted away. As this was the first time with the wind at our back, Kobie and I even had a lighthearted discussion about some type of sail that we could attach to our kayaks.

The morning was over in what seemed like an instant and as Kobie and I stopped on a bank for lunch the sun made its way through the clouds. We even had some fresh vegetables from our new friend Ron's garden. It was just the right thing to bring lunch to another level. We ate, we talked, we joked and then lay down on the bank in the warming rays of the sun. I almost felt like Huck Finn plying the river, though not yet even on the Mississippi. It was powerful fun.

Despite the paddling being hard work, it was such an enjoyable day on the river. It was enough to make the day one to reflect back upon, but more so given my whereabouts on this day seven years ago: tower one of the World Trade Center.

After lunch Kobie and I got into a rhythm paddling. It was the first day of the trip that we stayed together for nearly the entire day. Usually one of us will stop to adjust something or another and the other will push on.

We weren't sure what we might find for a campsite at the end of the day, but Kobie spied a rare low, flat area of dirt on the side of the river. It was an easy out for us and our kayaks and would be an easy in, come morning. I took the time to explore the area a bit following a deer path. The path led me to a small dirt road and a large field of corn, broken only by a farmhouse in the distance.

Following our usual camp chores we had ourselves a blazing campfire. It added a little warmth to the cool evening, but there is just something about a campfire. Even if it isn't utilitarian, I can enjoy a camp fire for hours. Camp fires seem to push me to a level of introspection I don't have otherwise, always welcome following a glorious day on the river.

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