Hello again. I haven’t disappeared, though it’s been another week since I last posted. We’ve again been busy entertaining, and again had a great time. I think things are winding down for summer though – both in terms of visitors and the season. Our grass is hardly growing, my burning bush is smoldering, and the sun is noticeably setting before 9pm. That’s all okay…mostly because it has to be, but also because there are still summery days ahead, and even the fall-ish days make for great kayaking and hiking.
Last week, Tony and I scoped out new paddling spot, thanks to our neighbor’s description of the area. We weren’t otherwise likely to go, but he mentioned that loons linger there, so we decided the wetlands by the Torch River bridge must not be so bad after all.
We put our kayaks in at a public access point on the south end of Torch Lake and paddled through some chop over to the bridge. The boaters were a little less polite than I’d have liked, cementing our thoughts on not keeping a future boat docked there. However, once we got through the narrows and beyond the marinas, things quieted and we were able to get lost in the river’s serenity.
Almost immediately, we spotted a loon in an alcove off the main branch of the river. It kept a leery eye on us, and then dived for a long underwater swim, only to resurface far from us. Well-played, loon – we did not see that coming 😉
After tooling around by the boathouses and deep-rooted lilies, we headed back out into the river. The lazy current drifted us past a stump-laden swamp, which happens to be one of my favorite things to check out while kayaking. It’s a dark underworld that I would not want to walk through, but to paddle over, it’s dark and mysterious and beautiful.
After idling in the swamp, we rejoined the current, and floated downstream in the lowering sun. Seagulls complained of our presence, but were not irked enough to fly away – even when we passed by them on our return, after shadows cloaked the river. This time we explored a different offshoot of the river, hanging out with a heron. The heron was watchful, but was much less cagey than the loon.
By this time, the heat had gone from the day and the shadows were deepening. We paddled back out, against the current this time, and then picked our way through the boat traffic. Perhaps this paddle isn’t one for the weekends, but it’ll be one we revisit.