Monday, September 6, 2010

Down the River, Up the Creek

I don’t get tired of paddling on the lake at Cane Creek Park. Each time I go out, there are different cloud and wind patterns, different flowers, and different birds and other creatures to watch for. But recently, I wanted to explore somewhere different.

Last Friday afternoon, a friend and I set off from the Route 9 boat ramp in Lancaster SC. The first thing I sensed was that my kayaking friends were right. The Catawba is no place for a lone paddler. It is big. Beneath the smooth surface, there’s a sense of power. Along the shores are huge snags in which the current could tangle a boat. Snags on the lake, I just go around or untangle myself easily without the extra danger of a strong current.

We went down the wide river, looking for the outflow of Cane Creek. We knew that it came in across from an island. Several small streams entered. We wondered, could that be it? Or that one? Then the opening swept into view on our left. At this point, it was no longer a little creek. It was a river.

Up we paddled, through swamp at first. Lovely contrasts of green, varieties of texture in the plant life on the shore line. We were almost to a big bend where the land rose in steep little hills on the left when my companion said we’d better turn back, since she had to be home by 5:30. I said, “Please can we go far enough so we can see around the bend?” So we did.

With regret, I turned down stream and we slid down to the main river ever so much faster than we had paddled up. I looked regretfully down stream as we turned into the Catawba. So much more river running down to the sea. And so small a boat.

On the river of life, may God bless you with friends for the journey.