Saturday, April 2, 2011
There is no better way to start the day than a nice calm paddle. There is no other way to end a day or break one up either, but today was a morning paddle. I was able to get out of the house and be at the river shortly after the sun came up.
I could not have asked for better weather and water for this time of year. There was a breeze, but nothing that mattered much. I was the only one out on the water other than the geese and ducks.
This was the furthest that I have made it up this section of the Fox River. About 3.5 miles north of rt 14, there is a nice cove that has a lot of birds and there is a little creek. I was able to get up the creek a few hundred feet before I came to a homemade dam. It is a very cool, tight creek that travels through some low lands. I was going to portage over the fallen trees made into a dam, but there wasn't much further that I could go after that.
Slightly further north, there is another little cove that has an opening at the back. That then opened to another little cove and a small creek that I was able to follow back to some marsh land. The water in this area was very clear and fairly shallow. There wasn't much to see underwater this time of year, but it was cool to see the landscape of the river bottom.
As always, it seems, the paddle back to the put in was completely different than the trip up river. The wind had picked up and there were some sections that it pushed my canoe around pretty good. I have gained some technique with the kayak paddle that I use and can get the bow of the boat right back where it needs to be quickly. I love the feel of the large canoe and the challenge that it gives me some times. It makes me feel that I am on a serious adventure.
As I came around the last bend, the river was not done with me just yet. The wind coupled with the river and sent some good rollers down the center. I crossed the river and caught some good waves head on. Again, I was able to keep the bow in the waves and rode them out successfully. There were a few that had me concerned, as they were some of the largest that I have navigated, but I was able to gain ground and pass through them.
I love the ever changing feel of the river. You can hit the same section of the river numerous times and it will never be the same trip. There is always something that stands out on the trip that makes it different than the pass before. Each bend in the river is a new chapter in the trip and you never know what is about to unravel. Sometimes it is predictable, and others it is nothing that you could have imagined.