Wednesday, May 18, 2005

paddling towards north beach

towards north beach, originally uploaded by seawallrunner.

some days, I just want to leave the world behind and surround myself with wilderness. Such an opportunity came up last Sunday, when Steve and Andrew invited me for a paddle on Buntzen Lake. Steve and his family used one canoe (white clipper in the photo below) while Andrew and I canoed in his agile green craft.

It feels powerful and liberating to dig deep with one's paddle, push the water away, and propel oneself forward.

It was raining - hard at times. There was hardly anyone else on the lake (perhaps two other kayaks in a five-hour time span?)

It was quiet - I could hear each individual raindrop hit the lake, bounce, then sink into the depths of Buntzen. This reminded me of listening to the thin sheath of ice, melting over Falls Lake near Zoa, a week before. As Yogi Berra would probably say, you can hear a lot when it's quiet.

Paddling with new friends, exploring distant cliffs - invisible from the well-known and well-trodden trail - floating over shallow shores and barely submerged logs.

It was a rainy, quiet afternoon underneath a white tarp, with the surprise of burgers, bbq and beer awaiting us.

Smiles, planning and laughter - a peaceful afternoon. Then an energetic paddle back to the South Beach of Buntzen, and a drive home.

Such peace.

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