Since I read Tom Sawyer in my youth, I’ve always had a fantasy of floating down the river on a raft. And then I read The Journals of Lewis and Clark, fascinated with the trials and tribulations they faced traveling upriver-comparing them to ours. I think the bottom line is that I love the water and really enjoy myself when we get on the river. Does the word river conjure up a muddy Mississippi image? Missouri has several rock bottom rivers with crystal clear water, quite the opposite of the Muddy Mississippi.
Today was our adventure day on the water. It’s a long journey, so we only do it once a year. We paddled about 3 miles up river, which took us 2 hours of intense paddling and then spent the rest of the day (7.5 hours) floating back down stopping here and there to sit in the water with an icy cold soda or fish a promising deep hole. Paddling upriver is always the sweat buster, along with having to pull the canoe through any swift current. Paddling back down is usually easier except for today with a 15-20 mph head wind. It was just as hard paddling against the wind as it was against the current.
This section with boulders always makes me think of a Colorado river. All that’s missing is a deer crossing the stream…and we were treated to that scene floating back down.
What’s a river adventure without a tree lying across the river forcing us to weave the canoe through the branches?
It appears my husband is doing all of the hard work, but actually we pull the canoe together… except when I see a photo opportunity. This river never ceases to amaze me how it can open up to super wide stretches and then narrow down to almost a trickle.
At the end of the day, in a slow stretch of current while my husband was in the water fishing, I laid back in the canoe and drifted-meandering with the current watching the blue sky float by. It wasn’t the Mighty Mississippi and it wasn’t a raft, but I felt a little bit like Tom and Huck floating down the river. (And I hooked into a couple of really nice large mouth bass…dinner tomorrow.)