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Evening Paddle

By Don Muggenborg

The resin had dried on the patch I made on my old, old C-1.  (seems like there are more patches than canoe these day).


Only 7 PM (Sept – it was starting to get a little dark) – I could test the boat – just to make sure.


I pulled up to my favorite put-in on the lower Des Plaines, on Canal Bank Road.  Dusk  As I got out of the cart, I saw a car slow down, and stop.  An older fellow asked,, “Are you going to paddle now?”  “Who is going to pick you up?”


“Just a short one.  Upstream a little and back.”, I replied.


“That a Wenonah?  I used to h ave a Wenonah, wasn’t it a Wenonah dear?”  He asked  his wife.


Over the carp barrier and then I slid down to the water.   (after the flooding, the mud/clay on the bank is like ice, but slipperier)


Launched – water was almost like glass – just a couple ripples from the wind.


It wasn’t long before I scared a heron – he was having his late night snack.  The I heard a kingfisher scold me as he flew by.


A green heron – either a lot of those this year or that one gets around a lot.


A large splash –  a beaver!  Then I caught sight of him swimming along the shore.


Getting a little dark.


I turned around – an orange glow reflected from the southwestern sky onto the water.  Enough light to see the river.  Why didn’t I bring a camera.


The crescent  moon reflected on the water off my right bow.  Then I noticed two and three moons as the bow wave caught more reflections.


I could just make out the take-out – I didn’t want to quit – but all good things must come to an end.


I was one lucky person on Sept 14 – having the time to paddle on such a nice night.  Too bad you were not with me.  Give me a call.  Maybe one more night this year.

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