Summer rapidly drawing to a close, we continue an eventful August, spending a weekend in Brule Wisconsin with our friends the Harrisons. I treasured 48 hours disconnected from the outside world and getting my son to do the same. 

The highlight was yesterday’s sixteen mile, six hour canoe/kayak journey down the Brule River. We enjoyed a calm weather day and some modest rapids that offered some excitement.

At one point my intrepid son and yours truly managed to get our canoe well lodged into the rocks within one stretch of rapids. It was actually more than a little hairy. I had images of a nighttime helicopter rescue if we didn’t find some way to extricate ourselves. Finally, with half my body hanging out of the canoe to push off some of the submerged boulders, the Lad using his oar for leverage, we freed ourselves. Notably, not one drop of beer was spilled during the proceedings.

Everyone felt pretty depleted by the time we returned to our cabin and campsite yesterday evening. I manufactured a couple margaritas for the old men and then got a bonfire going. Played frisbee with the boys, listening to music, and chatting with my friend in the last light of the day. A perfect day.

I will never forget how powerful the fragrance of wildflower and evergreen filled the river in a couple narrow stretches. During my time alone in the kayak, I stretched out on my back, faced skyward, and closed my eyes. Listening to nothing more than the wind whispering to the tops of the trees was a form of perfect peace. I opened my eyes to take in the images around the nearly still water, in time to see one golden leaf alight to its surface, and the ripples where brook trout rose to meet midge.

I hope, and I think that it is in some way true, that my son was also able, among the moments of laughter unique to sharing a day with a boyhood pal, to achieve a sense of wonder at it all.