Thursday, September 24, 2009

Twenty Questions

Just as I'm putting in on the big lake, a guy comes up and starts a conversation. I had no aims when I left the house and had decided to let the canoe find it's way and already I was going in an unexpected direction. He asked if there was a reason that I used a canoe instead of a kayak. I replied that it was somewhat intangible and gave the surface answers that satisfy most people, but he didn't buy it. He asked then if I was from the upper midwest and I answered, Minnesota. "There, he said, "you've been imprinted." He was as right as anything and I know that my subtle Minnesota-Norwegian smile appeared, briefly, but even this perceptive fellow most likely missed it. Those smiles are not classified as such in dictionaries as they don't resemble smiles. They are only recognizable in relation to the previous facial expression. Very often, my canoe trips bring back the memories of Boyscouts paddling up the Ottertail River, crossing Round Lake and continuing up to a beaver dam that seemed far larger than I would have thought possible. Before returning we would take a short swim in the beautifully named lake, "Ice-crackin". Anyway, we exchanged names and shook hands and I headed north. It took 15 minutes to get my head back into my canoe, but it was all worthwhile.
Soon, I spotted a lone horned grebe that was catching small fish on almost every dive. As I rounded the point into Union Bay, a flock of canada geese in v-formation materialized from gap in the trees. As I reached the east marsh, an eagle coasted down and set on a log boom to my right. Ducks scattered, but this eagle has probably been eating salmon bits as there is a run of coho right now. A green backed heron sits on a branch protruding from the "workbench beaver lodge". More grebes near the cut, and I continue through Portage Bay and down Lake Union.

No comments: