A Part of the Landscape or an Intruder
When I am out looking around on or along the Wapsipinicon River, I have two options for my method of travel. I can run a boat up the river and cover a considerable distance quickly. Or, I can drop a canoe or kayak in the water and paddle quietly up or down the river.
With the boat comes speed and river miles (positives). With the boat also comes rainbows on the water (if/when gas drips into the water), smoke, a wake, and noise (negatives).
Positives with paddling include much more wildlife being seen, near silence, and a feeling of being one with the river (sorry for being sappy). Negatives with paddling are the effort and energy required to paddle, and… I cannot think of any other negatives.
Over the past few days I have been using my boat to explore the Wapsie. Each day I came home with a feeling that I was missing something. Tonight, after I finished my work at the cabin, I paddled a kayak down the river, past the campground, up the river, and into some backwater areas. I saw turtles and a beaver at close range. I didn’t go far, but I felt as if I was a part of the landscape, rather than an intruder.
I have no problem with folks who prefer an outboard motor on their vessels. I am sure I will get mine out again. Until then, when paddling and boats approach, I will move over and ride out their waves. Then I will get back to slicing the water with a paddle and clicking my camera shutter as often as possible.
Following is a sample of images recorded tonight on the Wapsipinicon River: