The paddle thrusts deep. As I pull back with my lower hand the resistance is felt immediately. I need to push harder. My top hand pushes down and at the same time the effort is rewarded with a moment of weightlessness as I seemingly glide across the river. I feel a brief sense of accomplishment which is shown only with the slightest of one-side-corner-of-my-mouth smiles as I know I have to repeat this process over and over and over again.
The river gives an illusion of control. but what control do I really have? Think of the river as your life. OK, wait – way too deep. Think of the river as if it is the Borg. Resistance is futile. Hmm… Lets not go there in this story. I only live in natures world. Alan, myself, and Suzanne and our friends Geoff and Jeff had taken the 7 mile canoe trip, and it was a post card. For most of the time the river seduces you into a Sunday afternoon stroll. Following soft bends, and subtle curves with the occasional shallow sections with just enough grind to grab your attention and unknown sections of a pace change as the river reminded us of an illusion of control. It holds you in its embrace, allowing thoughts that I am no longer in control to come forward, yet not completely pushing away the idea that I could just leave of my own free will. At some points it was like traveling through a tunnel. The canopy of trees on both sides, with their roots grasping with desperation into the ragged shoreline leaning over and straining to keep us with wind whispers in our ears. Overhead the bent arms with their flickering hands provided a porous canopy with light leaking and sometimes gushing through. When the broken angled arms were close enough, I had to reach and barely touch them as they moved across my arms.
Seeing as we were also there to film for The Back 80 we did bring a couple cameras and a Go pro.
We had to walk down a slight hill to get the canoes in the water. the last couple feet was semi-firm mud. Or what I like to call, ‘Jesse’s last step!” Somehow managing the last step or two without testing the water temperature with my ass, I climbed into the back of the canoe with Alan at the helm up front. We took a minute or two to acclimate to the “you steer” or “I steer” communication all while seemingly going sideways, somehow, we righted the ship and began our filming
journey adventure! Alan did all of the filming from the front while I watched for ankle breakers (logs in the water) and face smackers (low hanging limbs). There was also the slightly hidden danger of shallow water. Through the whole trip we managed to never have to get out and push. Fact is, I have a lot of muscle that decided to take an early retirement, and just sort sits there and added to the depth of canoe sitting in the water.
The trip was visually almost an overload. Alan got some wonderful shots of the branches overhead as we floated by, some low level skimming the water shots, and some POV as if you are there with us cruising down the river. We even got a train conductor to blow the horn. I am sure a couple of these shots will get in final film, and I hope you can see them and enjoy part of our sunburned adventure as well.