So far Xena (my kayak) and I have explored a little bit of the Mississippi River and a little bit of the Rum River. The skinny, little Rum surprised me. There were partially to fully submerged tree sections to frantically steer around. It wouldn’t have been such a frantic effort except that it was also very windy and between the current and the wind, I wasn’t always going where I wanted to go. Isn’t that a metaphor for life…
But I rather enjoyed staying at the level of alertness the Rum River required. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't still sight see, looking for wildlife and river art, which is what the river does when it makes collages of branches and sand and weeds.
The conditions were hell on taking any picture of the best parts of the river, though. Seriously, it was choppy!
Along the way, several Kingfishers kept flying over Steve and I. They have a rattley call that you can hear at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (a fun site to browse if you like to listen to bird song).
I also saw an eagle fly down and over the river for a bit, while the crows swore at him from the trees. And there were several turtles sunning on logs and rocks. A couple of them were very LARGE and I tried to sneak past them, picking up speed when they dove in and appeared to be swimming toward, rather than away, from me.
I don’t know what I was imagining — like one would swim up and grab my paddle and pull me overboard and turtle me to death in the muck? Yes, something like that or that their powerful little snapping turtle jaws would remove a finger or two. Hey, if you are one of those people afraid of garter snakes, spiders of all sorts, or bats, I am allowed to have my own little turtle phobia…
I hesitated to show the following photo because I look like such a dork! But I'm a happy dork who is learning to embrace her dorkiness.
Steve and I had planned to paddle down the river and then go back up it, back to where the truck was parked. After all, we’d managed to paddle in both directions on the Mississippi. How hard could it be on the Rum River? Well, apparently tougher than the Mississippi.
After going through a couple passes where our kayaks picked up a speed all on their own and did some kind of polka step, swinging off in a couple different directions, we came to the conclusion that the only way we could make it back up the river is if we got out of our kayaks and pulled them along behind us. Given the muddiness of the river, that didn’t seem like a very good option.
When we reached the overpass for the road that led to the Rum River Park, we beached our kayaks. Steve walked back to the truck, while I waited with our stuff.
Next time, Steve and I will plan out the drop off and pick up points so we can take a longer trip down the river. And there will be snacks and beverages involved.
I'm enjoying the feeling of freedom at being able to see the river from the river, rather than the shore. And that too is another good metaphor for life.