The stress just melted when I hit the river on Sunday afternoon for what is turning out to be my annual August solo float.
Right up there in the heading on this page, it says: “lover of all things river and farm.” And it is true. But, why oh why has it taken me so long to drag out that trusty kayak and hit the water I will never know.
Each time I make it to the river, I spend at least half the float kicking myself for not going more and planning my next trip.
The water was a little low for this time of year and despite a little dragging here and there it was a wonderful three hour float. Eddie and Mae dropped me off at the river after a short 15 minute drive, returned home just in time for a nap, and came back to pick me up a few hours later downstream.
I came across only a handful of other floaters enjoying this 8 mile stretch of river so I mostly had it all to myself. And you know what I noticed the most?
Yes, I see the irony in yelling those words on the screen but I want to make sure that you heard me. Each and every damn time I get on the river, I am amazed by the quiet. We live in a rural area on a farm. I shouldn’t be caught off guard by the silence, but it gets me every time.
I crave quiet.
Just that same day on the way to the river, I reached over to turn down the radio, while riding in a loud diesel truck and cringing at the sound of the whining toddler in the back seat. It was just too much.
The wildlife was abundant on this trip so much more than any other float I have been on. This critters included two deer walking along the base of the bluff, two minks on a log in the middle of the river not concerned with me at all, a pair of ducks, two pairs of blue herons flying overhead, lots of fish and squirrels.
Oh….and a full sheet of plywood floating downstream.
All these twenty years on the river, and this was a first. Since I had no way to remove it or haul it with me I floated on by wondering about the origin of this drift wood.
The year of 2014 has been a rocky emotional roller coaster of a year. I have learned to value the need to care for my body, mind and soul. And nothing does all that and more than a few hours, a kayak and a beautiful river. It was all the therapy I needed.