Down A Lazy River
One summer, the eldest and I canoed down the Rum river, about twenty miles, from St. Francis to Anoka. The eldest knows proper technique, and has done a lot of canoeing. I know which end of the paddle goes in the water. Most of the year, the Rum is pretty tame, although we did find a few little rapids - He had to "shoot" these - I was along for the scenery. Because the Rum meanders in sandy soil, there is little development along its banks - there are long streches of it that are virtually unchanged from Indian days. The shoreline trees' shady overhanging branches combining with the cooling effect of the water make it a perfect place to spend a hot summer's day. Mile after mile, hour after hour, only seeing a few fisher-folk and some boys tubing with no particular place to go. We made it home at dusk, and portaged the five blocks back to the house.
Tonight the Rum still flows, pelted now by freezing rain, turning to snow. Only the fish and a few ducks are enjoying this miserable weather. But the thought of that summer trip warms me still.