Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kayaking Fargo. Autumn on the Red River

On the Red River between Fargo and Moorhead.

There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life. Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures---Shakespeare

The colors of the trees are burning bright. The air is crisp and clear. A morning mist slowly rises over the river's muddy looking waters. It is favorite time year for many to paddle the Red River.
When fall comes to the Red River Valley only the hardiest have yet to put away their canoes or kayaks for the season. The morning chill in the air is just reminder of the what lays ahead. But, those coldest days are still months away and now it time to enjoy the relaxing and peaceful flows of this meandering river.
Gone is the mud at the inputs. Gone is the high water from the spring melt and the summer rains. Gone are the mosquitoes after the first frost. The Red River is once again comfortable in its banks,  before going into its winter hibernation.
In between Fargo and Moorhead the river will glisten in the fading sunshine. I can remember, gliding along in my kayak breaking the mirrored image of the water's surface. The water had an uncommon clarity. Along the shore the leaves are full of color. It doesn't last long before they are swept away by the wind, rain and snow.
The season is short in the north. A long winter looms when it brings the first snow to the river in October. The sound the bow crashing into layers of ice shatters the silence, echoing off the stillness of the water. A reminder of the coming to end to the paddling season.

The first snow of the season.