Thursday, April 10, 2008

No Brainer

Our worst fear was that it would be a close call and we wouldn't know whether to get on the river or not. This is not a close call. It rained hard last night and we are not in the mood for a Bold Trip. So we'll be standing by peaceful waters on the banks of ol' Lake Dale Hollow. This means bring your deep-water lures, no limit on guitars, and we can sleep in a little Saturday morning.

It also means we don't have to get any federal citations:

Time to head out. We'll see everybody around 1:30 unless you're meeting us at the farm.

Standing there at the low bridge after we'd loaded the canoe, I doubted the dark sky, and the bite of the wind and its ruffle on the water; and under that grayness even the rapids below, rolling now with the two gates open above, looked sullen and dangerous.

But rivers tend to look that way when you start a trip, and so does the ocean when you clear the breakwaters and hit the gray swells, headed out on a cruise . . . They say our protoplasm, the salt of its juices the same still as sea water's, yearns back toward that liquid that brewed it, and I guess that may be so, but the air-breathing, land-walking structure the protoplasm molded itself into sometimes argues otherwise. Familiarity helps, as the skin divers know, and living beside the sea you lose the caution and can swim out daily a half-mile or more to float bobbing for hours with the slow rise and fall of the big, smooth-crested waves. I've done that, and then have left the sea for a few months, and, returning, have found the fear there again to be fought down again.

It's the same with a rolling, roaring river. I didn't want a bold journey; I wanted the quiet October Brazos, and it wasn't there. . .

Goodbye to a River, pages 13 - 14.

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