Monday, August 29, 2011

While we have no regrets about the Swan Creek adventure last spring, some kind of sixth Rebel instinct tells us the Club is looking for something a little slower, wider and less populated this fall. That's one of the reasons we're headed for the middle section of the Duck. There are other good reasons we'll share with you soon, but for now rest assured this won't be a Bold Journey. At least not because of the river.

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 protplasm 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 Brazos, and it wasn't there. . . .

Goodbye to a River, pp. 13-14.


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