Monday, June 14, 2010

It was a pretty large heron

I can't shake sleep this morning and all that I can think of that might bring me to full consciousness is to be in my canoe. My marsh will not do for me this day as I seem to still be carrying a chestful of wanderlust that the 150 mile trip on the Yakima only added to. You'd think that a long trip would spend wanderlust, but it never does.

I put in at Bothell landing on the Samammish River, first fielding 20 questions from a small boy at the water's edge...."why do you canoe?" which I respond to with "wouldn't you like to canoe?"
There is some current running today with so much recent rain, so I hug inside bends where the water is more sluggish and I make fine time. The river gets quieter as one moves upstream. Eventually, the roads move quite a ways back from the river. After an hour, I pass through a section of fast current, several minutes of strong paddling, inching forward, inching forward, until after about 70 yards of that, the current lets up.

Here, the river banks are plush and green. This is a constrained river, a contained river, high banks keeping it in its channel so that it no longer cuts new meanders and oxbows on the wide valley floor. Farm land long ago replaced the wildness of this little river's spring floods. Now, greed, in its infinite wisdom, replaces farmland with warehouses. Fortunately, the cities here got control of that before all was ruined. Most of the valley was saved.

I spot two otters coming downstream near the far brushy bank. They dive and as I pass by I know that they are watching unseen from the shadows, until it is clear that I am just paddling by.

I flush a heron and flush it again and once more. Three hops for a half a mile, and then it climbs up and over me returning to someplace near where I first saw it. It was a pretty large heron.

Several times, I think I should turn back, but the canoe continues its track upstream. After a bit more than two hours, it turns and drifts downstream while I write in my notebook.


nsarmila said...

goodmorning dear mr.scott, me sarmila are living my dream. i am just jealous...k,best wishes...

Elizabeth Winder Noyes said...

Thanks for the ride, Scott. The day ahead looks clear.