Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The Water Rose to Meet Our Boats
Without the camera, I have handcuffed myself to the thought that I can't create the verbal imagery which has been such an important part of creating this journal. Yet, with the company of good people and the buoyant force of the water, I have experienced in the past two weeks what I had so sorely missed having not been able to get up into the remote regions of the Canadian shield. A week ago this past Saturday, my son, Gabe, and I joined five other paddlers on the upper reaches of the Farmington; just below the source of the flow I have been paddling for the past two months. The water level was up with recent rains and the air was a mild fifty-plus degrees as we each settled into our boat of choice for a five hour cruise through class I / II sets, some quickwater, and some flat stretches. There were two OC-1's, a C-1, two touring canoes that were paddled, one that was poled, and a kayak. The variety of boats matched the variety of men and young boys who came together to enjoy this fabulous resource.
And then, if such bliss were not sufficient to transition into a winter of skis and skates, we gathered again in western Connecticut a week later to join with some new faces on a smaller, yet no less adventurous, pair of drainages. The Bantam rises just west of Litchfield and then joins flow with the Shepaug to create a challenging and busy run of class I and II's that kept us all pumping away with the single or double blades. In the end, new friendships were germinating and plans to gather for a rendevous in the spring were sketched with more detail.
The buoyant force of the water rising to meet the varied hulls that day served both as a very real element of our day together and as inspirational metaphor.
Enjoy the photography and film of our days on the river: