Current River Connection-Installment 5

Water rippling by, birds curiously chirping, gravel crunching under heavy wet tennis shoes, canoe scraping as it swayed with the return of the rescued contents – sounds intensified by the absence of the usual chatter. Their immediate thoughts would be shared later, but for the moment no words were spoken by either. No ‘what-ifs’ or ‘why-didnt-you’s” or ‘I-told-you-so’s’ broke the silence weighted with relief that there were no injuries or losses. Most importantly, the two were not stranded. Normalcy resumed with the digging around for snacks and drinks before pushing the unscathed canoe into the Current.

Without a map to refer to, the distance to cover tripled in Tarzan’s mind. Any springs or caves to explore, if noted in time to maneuver to, were bypassed. Nancy’s frustration with that unexpected development would ebb and flow along the way but it was a frustration she did not address aloud. She did, however, insist on infrequent stops to stretch legs and locate trees. Taking care of business could hardly be considered lolly-gagging, she argued. Anyway, in shorter floats they were always ahead of scheduled pick-ups; she was positive they would wind up back at home way before anyone expected them to.

After the encounter with the cliff that capsized the canoe, the two mysteriously resumed their proficient paddling, hardly disturbing the glassy surface of the widening river. Zig-zagging from bank to bank was never again an issue and it really didn’t matter why. They had found their easy cadence and began relishing the new sights along the way.

About mid-day they became aware of the first fellow humans they would encounter sporadically on the float trip. Up ahead they recognized a site from their driving explorations. The river flows through several culverts at a place still called Akers Ferry, though the ferry has been replaced by a roadway. The bank there offered an inviting spot for lunch and planning the portage, which happened quickly and effortlessly thanks to a nearby canoeist’s offer to help Tarzan carry the loaded vessel to the other side. Would be hard to say which of the two was more relieved -Tarzan for not having to shoulder the bulk of the burden, or Nancy for not being again reminded of the weakling she was.

Next week-First camp of float.

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About gleefulee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making passionate, lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. Now totally retired and looking for my summers to be full of fun as well! Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still very much a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content contributor for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist for our local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness.
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