On Friday, a scouting party of 14 slipped into the waters at Bryant's Upper Landing, in the swelter of the setting sun to head towards a landing platform at Dead Lake Island. Some shirts and other accouterments were shed, as we followed an ancient trail through steamy vapors towards a new destination for many of us.
We passed by dwellings that now stood proudly, raised up toward the sky where only months before they were almost kissing the high water marks from huge tropical storms and hurricanes. All was peaceful now, including the hoot of an old owl, watching in silence as seeming darts with upright figures passed in the tropical heat.
I glided in silence, as I was awed by the presence of many newcomers and the beauty of the evening, as it quickly approached and the awaiting of the full moon, to see what lunacy would be in store for this crew. The mixture was quite pleasant, as new faces merged with salty old dogs, to transfer new tales and adventures along the way and then once more we reached our destination. There was great food and wonderful conversation and an appreciation for the craftsmanship of the platform we chose to inhabit for that short period. Tables were quickly erected and talk of portable fans left behind were replaced by sightings of slivers of gold and silver, as the moon thread its way upward through the trees.
Once it appeared, there was an anxiousness to join it on the shimmering water and follow its path homeward to our put-in and more gliding along quiet still waters. Several of us took the moon's lead and slid quietly now into our darts and away into the night with no need for man-made light, as this beacon knew the way home and was smiling with it's many dimpled and cratered face, as it gladly led us as well as made its ritual chase of its lover....the sun.
I was awed and pleased as to the lack of opposing current and cooler temperature, as we did not need to suffer the oppressive furnace that we met on our way to the platforms. In what seemed like mere moments accompanied by wonderful conversation, we reached our vehicles and helped each other load up, and thanked Bob once more for a great paddle and the chance once more to commune.
Ian Gary Worob....canoeman