Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Sky is Falling (close call on Spring Creek)

Hello, this is Spence. This is my first post on our blog. Today Lori and I canoed Spring Creek with our friend Kent. It's an easy class I (beginner level) creek, but it's very pretty and fun. It has some bouncy waves, mossy water-worn limestone bluffs, and a canopy of big hemlock trees. Dozens of springs trickle and drip from the banks all along the way. The beavers have been hard at work, gnawing and chewing down several trees. We stopped at one of our favorite spots for lunch. Peanut butter and jelly, cheese sticks, crackers, and cookies never tasted so good. Lori even brought a thermos of hot chocolate and it was gooooood. Very nice on a cold day. I know what you're probably thinking. "What about the close call?" Well, it's coming. About halfway through this seven mile trip we were drifting through a gently flowing stretch of water, shooting pictures and relaxing. Suddenly there was a loud CRASH behind us. We looked back to see that a large tree had fallen straight across the river, from one side to the other! Right where we'd been thirty seconds before! If it had hit one of us, we could easily have been killed or badly injured. It's funny, we regularly paddle difficult whitewater which is considerably more risky. And here we were on an easy cake walk kind of trip and nearly get whacked by a dead tree. Go figure!

The first three miles we encountered several strainers, which act sort of like collanders - cheerfully letting water through but trapping anything bigger than a breadbox like a boat or a paddler. This strainer happened to be a tree.


This unusual strainer was the result of the summer's drought. With ponds dried up, farmers built them to keep thirsty cows from wading down the river.


Here's the infamous tree:


And here's the 12-foot top portion that broke off when the monstrosity smacked the water:


This is me right before the tree came down:


And this is me for the rest of the trip:

1 comment:

Holly said...

Wow! Yeah, I'd say that was a close call; Someone was watching out for you! ;) My husband would be so jealous if he knew you were out paddling at this time of year... something we really don't do up here in Michigan until Spring!