It rained often during the night and it seems to have rained often during the night over most of the area. But, it is warm and the soaked landscape brings a quiet to the air, a quiet that only becomes more perfect when the sprinkle of raindrops, near and far, mingle into a curtain that excludes the man made sounds that permeate nature. Just as I set out, it begins to sprinkle.
The town grocery opened at eight but I knew that if I waited that half hour to buy the snack that I should have taken along, I would miss something important. So, I continued to the put-in hoping that I still had an old mangled granola bar somewhere in the bowels of my pack. I did not.
A low thin haze hangs over the river, a haze that cameras have a way of removing, but a haze non the less. The tops of my eyeglasses fog, so no matter how clear the day becomes, I will paddle in a haze. I am hungry, but only in the stomach.
I flush a great blue heron here and there. I scare up a few wood ducks and get visited by a kingfisher every so often. I see one hawk. The osprey are all gone.
It is a symmetrical world. With not a puff of wind, the forest and banks above the water are reflected below. With not a hint of breeze, I paddle as often on the left as on the right, no corrections for wind. I plan on three hours up river. Just about then I see a party of canoes coming down and I turn, preferring to not pass and then repass them, keeping the river in front of me to myself.
Two fast canoes slowly catch up and pass me, gaining a few inches with each stroke. They go out of sight in a half hour, not far ahead, but always around the bend. I pass them when they stop to rest, and see them no more.