There is something about canoeing that I love. It's easy to see the romance of it that has come down through the years; the way the boat silently slides through the water, the gentle sound of the paddle cutting into the water, then dripping a little trail of ripples behind. I went out one morning on a lake in Nova Scotia by myself last summer and was alone on the lake but for the cormorants and loons. The rising sun cut through the lake mist, making it all golden, and I felt wonderfully alone, gliding along and taking photos - this one was my favorite. So peaceful, so serene.
The canoeing this weekend will have times like that, but there will also be portages with 70-lb packs, white water, and back country camping. The white water has its own beauty, watching the cascades and hearing the roar. Then there is the little plunge into it, the chill of the water spraying over the front as I reach forward to paddle, feeling the adrenaline rush as I dig into the water. Then the front rises up and I laugh, realizing that I can't reach the water for a fraction of a second, then we're down again and I grab at it. The boat rocks a bit from side to side, but I don't dare grab the gunwales as that's a shortcut to tipping, so I try to move with the boat and keep looking ahead. D is steering behind and yells "draw!" as he spots the characteristic water flow over a submerged rock, so I reach out and pull sideways and then, all of a sudden, we're through. The river is again smooth as glass, the current strong, the water clear.
We'll be in a boat for about 8 hours each day, so in a way we're stuck together - but last year I loved this; we could be by ourselves or beside other couples, but we talked about ideas and dreams and the kids and us. It was lovely.