Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Unexpected

I put in at the feral cat park and follow the left bank upstream - the left bank, in riverman's terminology being the one on your left if you are facing downstream.  I have both the wind and the current to work against and I am not feeling my best, a fresh dose of antibiotics in me to combat a possible case of Lymes disease from a deer tick bite 2 weeks ago.  I figure it best to be sick doing something I like rather than sit around the house and add to it.

I follow the reeded shoreline closely, just a few feet away, hoping for a little relief from the current and a bit of protection from the wind.  When the shoreline turns rocky, and later craggy, I do the same.

The tide is high and I spot the log that overhung the river, the one where four black crowned night herons stood for me one day a few weeks back.  I spot that log as I pass over it, submerged by almost two feet.  I turn into the little inlet a half hour up the river.  When I was here last, it was a fast chute of water dropping three feet in twenty - an impassable passage upstream.  Today, it is easy.  I find a calm pond almost a half mile in length.  It is man-made, for no reason that I know of, but it was not here on the 1934 aerial photograph that I looked at yesterday.

I continue up and soon, I find a Triumph motorcycle upside down and partly submerged on the bank.  I write the vehicle identification number down so that I can let the police know where it is.  It needs to be moved, even if it does not need to be found.  It smells of slowly leaking gasoline.

I pass under the tall bridge and begin my way along the craggy banks where turned up sedimentary rock stands on end.  I keep going, thinking about the next island upstream.  A very strong and steady gust of wind comes down on me - quite unexpected.  I let it decide.  It is time to turn back.

I follow that left bank except when I get near Fowler Island where I cross the channel and paddle in the lee of that low flat feature.  Then I go back to the bank and follow.  There is a stand of trees on a sandy beach that I stop to explore.  It looks like a fine "stealth" campsite for a future day.  I find a camera (more below).

The day has gone raw and I am glad to end the trip when I do. 

The Camera - I pulled out the memory card and found it to be in good order.  One expects images of people goofing off - posing on the speedboat and standing around the barbecue.  What I found were a dozen photos taken in mid-october 2011 of a bridge inspection.  I recognized the bridge as being one up near Derby - a place I just visited a week back.  From the photos, it looks like it needs some work.
Take a photo of me

Digital cameras leave more information than just the photo.  So, on October 19, 2011, sometime not long after the following photo was taken, one of the guys (probably the one in the above photo) said something like -
"Shit!  I dropped the camera."   

Okay, now you take a photo of us
   "Way to go, asshole.  We're not coming back to get you."

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