A nine mile paddle is always a wee bit tiring, but add some hefty dashes of wind and current and it makes for a collapse-into-bed experience! Was it worth it? Absolutely!
Fall stream was recommended to me years ago when I contacted the local ranger to ask about a different river. He quickly understood the type of paddle I adore – small, meandering, and quiet. “How about Fall Stream? Have you done that one yet?”
It was time to revisit this paradise and even though the leaves of summer weren’t to be seen, it was even more beautiful than I remembered! The gentle meandering made for glimpses of far mountains interspersed with closer views of sentinel pines and spruces.
The evidence of beaver engineering were everywhere with lodges in abundance and a couple of big projects going on! Interestingly, the lodges were much higher than those near home and many were still clothed in their winter mud more than their summer, peeled bark look. My guess is that the much colder weather in the Adirondacks means more insulation!
I was growing a bit tired by lunch time as I hadn’t felt very fit in the morning with a nagging throat issue. We floated in the crook of a meander and shared some cheese and crackers and cashews. I knew it was important to Peter to get to Vly Lake and I was trying to be a sport about it, but my resolve began to melt when we headed into a pretty stiff wind for the upper section.
The view at Vly was worth the effort though with diamonds dancing on the water’s surface. We spent a few minutes enjoying our accomplishment and then headed back with appreciated assist! Our lunch spot came up in what seemed like minutes and then the wind died and we were back to paddling.
I had that familiar moment when the sun changes angle and I think, “Huh? Already?” or some such profound thought! The day was passing and now heading toward evening. How long had we been on the water?
When I’m paddling, I don’t often think about time until the sun’s angle nudges me and somehow I’m always surprised. Can it be that I’m still on this earth and tied to the kind of destiny that contains sunrises and sunsets? Part of me must be convinced I’m already in heaven in an endless day of joyful beauty that stretches into eternity. It’s always a bit of a shock to realize that there is mundane things to think about like is there enough daylight to get to the take out and what will we do for dinner.
Thankfully, we have plenty of daylight at this time of year and dinner was at a restaurant we had enjoyed on a previous trip. Then it was time to fall into bed: stiff-muscled, exhausted and happy with the kinds of visions that didn’t include sugarplums and fairies, but did have the gentle sounds of water dripping off the end of my paddle.