I’m a water girl – confirmed years ago growing up on a lake. Get me near water, better yet on water and I’m content. So getting the chance Friday morning to canoe part of the Huron River with my aunt was a gift.
The Huron River starts up near me at Indian Springs, a park Katie and I enjoy regularly, and flows all the way to Lake Erie, 130 miles in all. We paddled 8 miles on Friday morning under a bright blue sky. The water was crystal clear, with large brown fish (trout?) darting below our boat, among the intense green of the river grasses.
The current was gentle but persistent, assisting our trip downriver but not so quick that we couldn’t enjoy the lovely views along the way. The banks were often covered in blue forget-me-not flowers, the sunlight falling on them in dappled joy through the new spring green foliage of the trees above.
Mostly the river was smooth and calm, reflecting the sky and trees, shining on the water bugs scurrying away from our silent canoe. Occasionally we rode through some moderate rapids…
…calling on the skill of my aunt, the expert in the stern to pick the best spot to slide by the largest rocks.
The only people we saw were fishermen also enjoying the quiet beauty of the river.
But we saw lots of nature. A blue heron flew across the river in front of us and around a bend, hidden by trees, only to wait for us in the shallows, ignoring us as we passed. Another heron stood proudly on a log, posing as we glided by.
We saw giant snapping turtles laying eggs on sandy banks, mallard ducks preening on a log, and several families of geese enjoying the beautiful sunny day.
We had such a lovely time, I’m grateful for the opportunity to canoe with my aunt on a river she and my dad used paddle as kids. I remember other canoe trips with my folks, and one trip on this river, though a different stretch of it, with my dad. The Huron stretches 140 miles across this part of Michigan, and right through the hearts of my family.
Aren’t I lucky.