Monday, May 21, 2007

CT River Canoe Trip Part 4

It was a sunny September morning, as we set off east toward the River. It took us about an hour to get to the river, and another hour or so to find the exact spot we wanted to put in. We decided to put in under a bridge in Wells River, VT.

The river calmly flowed by in that spot, and had ample room to spread out our things so we can pack. Todd managed to track down the Sheriff to ask him where to park that would be safe. Only in Vermont would you be told where the Sheriff lives and knock on his door to ask him where a safe place to leave a car would be. I parked the car and walked back to where Todd was organizing our stuff on the river bank. Griffen and Nemo were tied to a nearby tree, and being Houdini’s dogs, they managed to get free every other minute. All you could hear was “OK, let’s put the tent here… DAMMIT! NEMO! GET OVER HERE!”

In the afternoon we finally shoved off from shore. I was in the front with Nemo, and Todd was in the back with Griffen. Our mountain of gear was stowed in the middle of the canoe and elaborately tied down by my Eagle Scout of a husband.

I had this idyllic notion of canoeing with the dogs. They would rest their heads on the gunnels of the canoe, and gaze at the shore contentedly. I would paddle, unfettered. The sun would shine, we’d get hot and splash each other with our oars. Good times.

Canoeing with dogs is actually not at all like my ideal picture led me to believe. No matter what side the dogs are looking out of, they immediately want to be on the exact opposite side. They spent the better part of 2 hours pacing back and forth in the canoe “Hey, what’s over there? Now what’s on that side? And what about that side?” This went on and on.

We hit a shallow spot in the river, and had to get out and pull the canoe. This meant that Griffen could get out and swim like a true Labrador, and Nemo could run for shore and keep up with us like a true beagle.

We pulled the canoe for awhile, then the river got deep enough again. So, we got back in, dogs and all, and started the dog pacing game while Todd and I paddled.

The river was starting to flow a bit faster now. Todd directed me to draw stroke. As I leaned over to draw my paddle sideways through the water, Griffen decided that this meant we were getting out again. He leapt out of the canoe and hooked his back legs on the gunnel of the canoe.

Next thing I knew, I was underwater. The canoe was capsized.

To be continued.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Da Dog is like that in the boat, I couldn't imagine him in a canoe. And Pman still wants to bring him canoeing with us. Every time he says that I look at him like he's got two heads. LOL!

May 22, 2007 at 9:48 AM  

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