It is too fine of a day to not take advantage of, even for a short trip, and while I have no allergy to rain, having lived in the Pacific Northwest for 27 years, tomorrow's forecast looks particularly grim.
I set out to circle the big marsh, a short trip that can always be extended by getting lost in the interior, which is actually easier done than said. A half mile along I find a 50 gallon drum. It is empty and not particularly heavy, so I pull it out and rest in on the gunwales as it is too large to fit inside the rather narrow solo canoe. It has little effect on the handling of the canoe on such a calm day other than to give it the appearance of a tiny blue steam locomotive.
I wander a series of back channels that I can't recognize, but they seem to have a good bit of flood current and they might go through to somewhere. Eventually I end up in the Nell's channel, which I leave for a smaller passage that I remember from previous trips.
Hunters are out today. It is more bird sterile than normal, but I doubt that the hunters have much effect. I hunted when I was younger and I would not bother with this marsh if I still hunted, except when the migration is in full swing. Anyway, the hunting seasons here come and go with no obvious pattern and once in awhile I end up in a marsh during season.
I spot a hunter out in center marsh standing guard over a large patch of open and birdless water. It is a good day to sit in the sun.
At the Archaeology Ridge I come across another hunter. His duck and goose decoys double my bird count for the day. We chat a bit. It's been quiet. He asks me about the tides. Seems he forgot to check them and ran aground in the morning. I tell him he'll be okay heading upriver, but by the time he leaves the water downriver will be too shallow for my canoe...from past experience.
And, I go on my way.
Historic Paddle Photo: 1907 - With Gun and Guide
7 hours ago