Hello, and welcome to my story of dumbness.
It all started about a half hour ago when I decided I would update my journal.
Got a whole bunch of stuff typed out...
Then the boyfriend came home and while we were chatting I start clicking.
Went to the Facebook tab, looked at a couple status's, came back and just clicked away... Lost my journal.
So instead Im going to copy and paste the last thinger that I wrote as a facebook note, cause it kinda says what I was saying anyways
"We arrived at Lidtke Mill just after 8:30 am. Only had coffee and excitment flowing through us at that point. The sun was of course perfect, a word we found ourselves proclaiming throughout the journey. BJ has made this voyage countless times before. Myself, only the once.
After the canoe was packed, the fishing equipment at the handy, and sun lotion sufficently rubbed on, we set off. Probably a little before 10 we had paddles in hand and the dam quickly dissapearing behind us.
Thats all you hear! The river wasnt up, so especially on the straightaways its placid. We spent the first 2 hours Im sure, just gawking around as if we hadnt seen it before. Every colour everywhere. Trees growing in fantastic shapes. I really like the ones that kind of look like one stick, just heading straight up, but with a lollypop like clump of leaves towards their tops. At some points you can see open expanse of the sky. Sometimes only the trees. My favorite, the bluffs! The first time I was out there, Ill admit, I was too preoccupied with those things to notice just how beautiful the water itself is!
And then, we started to fish!
Something I hope to be fascinated by time and time again are the fresh water springs. Keep in mind, Ive never had too much opportunity to go out and explore. So things like an exceptionally cold spring running into the refreshingly warm river, intruiges me. They do come off as more pristine. We stopped at one to snack on some veggies and the way it felt running through my sandals was enough to stimulate the senses as they say ;]
We worked our way down. Curve after beautiful curve. Fishing spots galore, although we werent cathcing anything... yet. One of the best things for us, is imagining what it was like 400 years ago, or 1000 years ago. People of the land and their rituals, their tools and ways of getting things done. The river was pretty low at a couple of points, and with that sun having gotten higher in the afternoon sky, we just walked the canoe a few times. Looking around and thinking, they probably did this too.
It goes without saying there is nature everywhere. Bald Eagles soaring around every bend. There was a Great Blue Heron that seemed as if he wanted to be our river mate there for awhile. We would get close to him, and he would fly downstream a bit more, and the process would repeat. He didnt seem bothered by us however, more as if he were guiding us down. Swallows, turkey vultures, even deer made an appearance on that first day. The owl that stood on a bank about 15 ft away from us before silently taking off was the most breathtaking in my opinion.
Then we camped!
Last year we had camped here, with friends. And this year we felt it more then fitting for our trip. Its a little under halfway to Granger from Lidtke if Im not mistaken. Just a nice sandy island with lots of dead wood, and a pretty good habitat of bats to keep the bugs away! It reallydoes feel like the best camping spot ever, just out in the middle of a river is all. For supper we had hobo dinners, although I had forgotten the mixed veggies. After the fun filled day, we pretty much feel asleep as soon as our heads hit our camping pillows!
Saturday was just as perfect, beautiful, and serene as Friday had been. Only this time, the fish were bitting!! The amount of bites were pretty even, but BJ really outfished me this time around because he caught a little of everything, and pretty darn often too! I learned to do alot more paddeling that day, especially to try and help him be able to fish good spots. There was some wind resistance towards the evening hours that we had to paddle our way through, but working together made it much easier of course =]
Bonding is really what this whole trip was for us. We have been out camping together, we have even been on one of these trips last year. But being by ourselves, just the 2 of us was really very different. More so then I think either of us anticipated. He made things easier for me, and I made things easier for him. Fishing together, helping each other out, traversing the river together, and of course all of the setting up and taking down of camp.
That 2nd day flew by, and before we knew it, it was getting close to 8 pm, and we were not even near our campsite yet. We paddled, and paddled, talked about stopping at a few different places, but instead just trudged on so we could make it to the other place we had camped at last year. We knew it was there, just a matter of getting ourselves there.
Tired, achey, and hungry as ever, we started the process of setting up camp. It turned out that the same exact area we were at last year, had just a bit. So we were not but 30 ft further downstream on what turned out to be quite a cozy little island. There were a few weird noises, and as the sun went down, and the moon even started to dissapear behind the tree line... we did KIND of wish our wood burned brighter. After another delicious meal cooked from the coals, we found ourselves entranced by the fire. I had the camera out, taking picture after picture. BJ has his stick out, poking the fire. And we still arent sure if we made it past midnight, or just how long we stayed up.
Sunday morning came with what we thought was a vengance. 2 seconds were spent realizing that the sky looked stormy. 10 minutes was spend deciding that we were just going to stay in the tent, and wait it out, but at least try and get some coffee going for ourselves. But then the next 5 minutes were spent deciding we would pack quick, do without coffee, and get in the canoe! So, that is what we did. Packed, and before you know it we were with paddles in hand yet again.
It did not rain!
The Upper Iowa River is quickly becoming a complete love affair of mine. This weekend brought us closer to ourselves, and closer to each other. I honestly cannot stop thinking about being up there, and of course cant wait till I am! For those of us in Iowa who always complain that there isnt anything to do, I am calling a big ole Bllsh
!T! You dont have to go out and trek the wild for 3 days straight, but you could hop in a boat for 3 hours! Go for a hike, go fishing, go bird watching even! Why not take the magnificent things that are around us, and appreciate them?