A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Canoing on the Harpeth River

Also this weekend, in addition to the Memphis Zombie Massacre, we helped the Youngers move from their old place into their new place. Then, Saturday afternoon, Krissi and I and Yazhi drove up toward Nashville to go camping and canoing at the Harpeth River.

We got in Saturday early evening, setup camp at the crowded camp site, cooked some food, enjoyed the outdoors, and went to sleep. This was Yazhi's first time camping/in a tent, so the noise had her barking a couple of times in the night, but we kept her in the (spacious) tent with us, so we could shush her. We all slept pretty well, then were up at the crack of dawn to purchase coffee, since I had not been able to bring proper supplies with me to make coffee, and we prepared yummy camping breakfast and headed to the river with canoes. We put the boat on the water, put Yazhi in the boat, and she immediately leapt out into the water and began to panic. She was doing a doggie-paddle-tread-water-oh-shit-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into thing. We've observed her to be a fine swimmer previously, I think that the leaping into the water and not finding any footing just confused her enough that she panicked. Anyway, I was able to swiftly haul her back into the canoe, and she immediately leapt back in on the other side. Actually - I don't think it was so much leaping of her own free will, as much as it appeared to be. If you've been in a canoe, you understand how strange balance is in one. She'd go to one side, and stick her head over, the whole thing leans to that side, forcing more of her weight to the side, against the edge of the canoe, and she had no traction or leverage, and so after a half-second scramble, over the side she went. I guess we're just fortunate that she didn't spill the whole thing, us included. Anyway, we again got her in the boat, and actually got shoved off and into the river. She learned quickly, and didn't make the same mistake again. We paddled for a bit and enjoyed the scenery. We were out early, apparently most folks get out in the afternoon, so we saw only a few other people on the river. It was slow and smooth, and quite shallow - there were only a few places that seemed to be deeper than four feet. I heard that the river was quite low though, having not had any significant rain in some time. And we did bottom out and had to push through a couple of small areas. The weather was fantastic though, clear and warm. We did a long trip, 11 to 12 miles. Yazhi stayed in the boat a goodly portion of Sunday, but she'd hop out into the water when we went through particularly shallow areas and she could see the bottom. She swam like an otter, and loved the water. We reached the end of our route around 2 PM, waited for the van to come haul us back to camp, and then set about doing some hanging out, reading, and laughing at our tired and sleeping dog. We made some yummy camp supper and went to bed pretty much as soon as it was dark. Monday we were up early again, and on the water quickly. This time, we didn't have any panicking, but we did spend about half of the trip in the water. She swims like a fish, I tell you. She seriously swam three or four miles. By the end though, she was completely worn out, though she put on a brave face. We had a great time on the water both days, enjoying the weather and the company and our swimming dog.

We'd packed up our camp early Monday, before hopping into the canoe, so once we were done with the river, we hopped into the car and headed back to Memphis. Pics from the trip are here.

On a side note: people are stupid and vile creatures. There were a couple of spots along the river that there were discarded cans and trash. I just don't understand why people can't take the small amount of effort to clean up behind themselves. It really makes me angry, and its that frustrating, ineffective angry. Feels like there's nothing I can do about it. I mean, I can certainly carry around trash bags with me, and clean up other people's fucking trash.. Oh, and apparently some people think that its okay to take animals, perhaps from federally protected land. One family of particularly country folks were collecting turtles on their trip down the river. The same group who flicked cigarette butts into the river. Makes me feel angry and impotent. I feel like if I say something, even politely, I'll only accomplish getting into an argument or fist fight, and if I don't I just stand there like a dumb ass. So I stood there like a dumb ass. I just hope that karma has something in store for those folks. It makes me feel a tiny bit better.

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