Monday, November 19, 2012

Flats and Islands

On the old maps, the hundred year old maps, it is Pope's Flat.  I like that term, "flat" and I don't see the improvement on newer maps by using the word, "island".  I suppose that flat is from old regional vocabulary and so far, the only differences that I can see from the islands and flats in this here river is that most of the islands can barely manage to grow trees and the flats cannot.

I started at the feral cat park and with a rising tide for the next few hours, I can explore any passages that I find among the flats and islands.  I sneak into one on Pope's Flat, and I do sneak, moving as quietly as possible, because I have seen deer out here.  It is not long before I find a deer trail that crosses my route.

The sky is overcast but the glare from the partial sun is enough to make me wear sunglasses.  It is a warning sky, but not one that alerts me that I might be blown out of my canoe at any moment.  Rather, it says, "winter is coming", and it seems to mean it.

Well, I put down my pencil and continue on my way into the flat until, in not to long a distance, it dead ends such that the way would not pass even at the highest tide.  I paddle down to the tip of the flat and follow another opening in.  This one stops at a hundred yards, but the ground is lower and if I return here during high water, I will be able to continue through the grasses.

In my old haunting grounds on the west coast, I renamed an island that I frequented.  It had an obscure honorific, named for one of two people (no one remembered which) who no one remembered much about.  But, that island had also been a Native American burial ground and so it became the Burial Island.  In the 1960's, the state built a highway across the island, a highway that anyone living there knows, is damned all to hell.  The name of a place should fit, and apparently my name does.

I pass Long Island (that should be a flat), cut the gap between Carting Island (which does have some trees), explore an inlet near Peacock Island (which may or may not have trees), and then continue upriver a short ways to explore another gap that has opened on the shoreline.  When I return to the feral cat park, I find an old friend waiting safely out of reach of the cats.

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