Monday, November 15, 2010

Downstream in the Sunny Late Fall

Went for a possibly final Fall kayak on the Concord on 11/13, putting in at the 225 crossing and heading downstream to route 3 and back. A good number of people were hanging out on the bank and/or fishing, as it was a beautiful warm day.

Heading downstream there was a guy in a bass boat who was doing a remarkable job of blocking the river, though it gets very wide at that point. First he casted this way and so I steered that way and then he casted that way so I steered this way. Finally I decided he was going to be annoyed at me no matter how nice I tried to be so I just kept going, which of course made him stop and glare. Just then I noticed that the beavers in the lodge on the bank near him (or the flood current??) had brought down a sizeable tree with what looked like very tasty branches.

  • I asked him, "Do you think the beavers did that?"
  • "Huh?"
  • "That's a beaver lodge; do you think they cut down that tree?"
  • "They'll do that."

He was now even more annoyed at me for wasting his time with idle chit-chat about rodents, and I don't think he was smart enough to realize that I realized it.

Right after the route 4 bridge there were two young guys in hoodies just enjoying themselves on the bank. One of them waved manically at me and the other one grinned. I went down to route 3 ... just enjoying myself ... and then turned around and came back. Just before route 4 one of them waved manically at me and the other guy grinned, so I engaged them in a bit of conversation:

  • "What's up guys?"
  • [shrugs from both]
  • "Nice day."
  • "Yaya!"

Upstream from route 4 the real show started. The sun was shining bright and low in the Fall sky off my starboard bow and the oak and maple trees on the bank to my left were bare, as I paddled along rapidly about 35 feet from the shore. There was absolutely no wind and the black water was a mirror. The trees looked monochromatic above the bank against the blue sky, but their reflection in the water revealed streaks of green and brown in that tableau. The blue sky combined with the black of the water to provide a bright, almost glowing background. The reflection also contained the waxing quarter moon, riding behind the trees in the dark water like some fantaisical Halloween image, speeding along like it was going somewhere and the trees and I were standing still.

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