Thursday, August 2, 2012
I had not paddled this area yet this year and as we all know, the water has been very low everywhere. I decided to take the girls out on the river. It was my 2 yr old's first time on the Fox River and on a Wednesday evening, the boat traffic was going to be very light.
There was a spot that I thought both of them would really like to explore with me that I had starting calling "Beaver Cove" due to all the beaver activity back there. I thought it would be fun for them to see the chewed up trees and maybe catch a glimpse of a beaver....well, the ambiance had changed a bit back there.
Just inside the mouth of the cove was a huge section of algae. It was nice and thick, but there was a thinner area to the left that we were able to paddle through. After that, it opened back up a little bit, but there are a lot of water weeds and with the low water, they were really a factor in paddling.
Now, when we got to the back of the cove, I was starting to get a little creeped out also. At this point, my navigator was nervous. My co navigator was playing with the water and didn't give a damn where we were. If I had not been back here before, I would have turned around at this point.
There is one log around the back of the island that you have to hop over. I wasn't too nervous because I had done it before and had the hang of it. However, I had not done it before with my 2 yr old in the boat. Now, there were no issues until we were half over the log and I was scooting towards the front of the canoe. Just off the bow was a carp playing at the surface. Now, if you have paddled the chain and Fox river, you know that these things are not the daintiest fish in the area. At the moment, Shamu was hitting the surface. This is when the trip turned into a scare fest.
After hopping the log, we came into another clearing. The carp were jetting off all over the place. One came half out of the water and looked like a toddler standing in the water. Thankfully it was not too near us. I quickly realized that the water was about a foot deep and that our exit around the rest of the island was not an option. The water was so low that the exit was dried up. We had to go back the way we came.
We watched one carp hang out at the surface and it started making it's way over to us. It was about 20 feet off the bow of the canoe and my navigator said it was time to go. I assured her that there was no danger, but trying to explain to a 7 year old girl that the river monster headed towards her end of the boat was not going to hurt her was not working very well. We spun the ship around and headed back into the log labyrinth. I go the front end of the canoe over the log and had it balanced in the middle. I used another section of the log (overhead) to grab and pull the rest of the canoe forward. The bow swung to the right and we tipped at a pretty good angle. Now I was scared. We straightened out, calmed down, and got the ass end of the canoe back in the water. I was back to calm, but my navigator was strung out pretty good. I tossed some weeds off my paddle and they hit the water right next to her. She screamed, tears flowed, and paddling the cove ended.
Once we got back to the calm water of the river, we talked about the cove and our adventure. She admitted she was scared and that she did have a good time. She is not going back.