Changes on the River


“I thought how lovely and how strange a river is.  A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still.  It’s always changing and is always on the move.  And over time the river itself changes too.”

Aiden Chambers/This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

The above picture is of the Bourbeuse River just north of I-44 near Villa Ridge, MO.  The watershed area of the river had received between 3 to 5 inches of rain 3 days before this excursion.  It was a foggy, cool, crisp morning and the autumn colors seemed capable of reaching out and touching you.  The temp was around 40 degrees when I launched from the boat ramp.


As I paddled into the fog I heard the “squawk” of a Great Blue Heron.  I managed to catch a glimpse of the magnificent bird before its image was swallowed up by the mist of the fog.  As the mist began to lift I could make out where the level of the river had existed a couple of days prior.  Drift wood left by the high waters littered the banks.


As the sun began to melt the fog from the landscape the beauty of the fall colors began to make its appearance.  Oranges, reds, yellows and browns began to appear on the hillsides.  Wait!  Did you hear that?  Me neither.  That is the beauty of floating the river in a kayak.  Close your eyes and feel the quiet around you and become one with the river.  I admit I am a “junkie” with my drug of choice being the river.  I can’t get enough.  I wish everyone could experience the mystery, beauty and peacefulness of the river.  I remember as a child after a spring rain filled the creeks I would throw a stick in the creek and follow it as it made its way down the creek.  I realize that now my kayak and myself are that stick.


“Rivers know this: there is no hurry.  We shall get there some day” A.A. Milne

Well I guess it is time to reel the hook in and put some bait on it.  After all man does not live by bread alone.  Some fresh fish would make for a good supper.  As I take one last look around at the river admiring its mystery and beauty I think to myself, how many rain drops does it take to make a river, where was the water underneath my yak 3 months ago and how many eyes saw this very same water before I laid eyes on it?

Time to catch some supper.