Starkweather Creek

Kayak

Kayak (Photo credit: Iguanasan)

It’s been years since I went out in my kayak, but I did this morning, and it was a fine and excellent time. Everything looks so different from the water. It’s not like I can forget I’m in a city; planes go over, and just sailing a couple kilometers down the Starkweather Creek I have to pass under six bridges–one bike path, two railroad, and three streets. But from the water, you see different things.. My first wood ducks, green herons, sand pipers, and Baltimore orioles for the year… Some grass swimming upstream that, on closer inspection, proved to have a muskrat attached… Two distinct and thriving species of pondscum… A momma duck and a mess of itty-bitty ducklings… A dead, bloated squirrel floating downstream… A cop hiding out in the bushes, waiting for speeders… All this seems rural enough to me. There was some interesting urban stuff too, though, like the Canada goose standing on top of an apartment building. What the heck was it doing up there?

One year I couldn’t go because Dan was sick, and another year I couldn’t go because they had the shore of the creek torn up anywhere close enough for me to get to it. (Since at least two children recently drowned in this creek by slipping down the old metal sheeting that used to be there, I was very happy that year. Of course it would also help if my neighbors didn’t use their 7-year-olds as babysitters.) Last year I didn’t feel confident enough to drag the thing down to the creek, because it’s pretty heavy, and my little cart Dan made years ago out of an old baby stroller was hopelessly rusted and flat-tired. But I’ve been pumping iron, man, and bought a little two-wheeled cart made for kayak-moving, so now I’m good to go.

Just paddling down the creek is pretty fun, but if I keep going I either get to the lake or to a wilder branch of the creek.

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