All About Kayaking on the River
edited: Sunday, August 10, 2008
By Regis Auffray
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2008
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An article by Sha'Tara...
All about Kayaking on the River
~an update~ Sha’Tara, Summer 2008
Kayaking for me is never a sport – I hate sports generally, more so organized ones, and utterly commercial ones. If my kayaking came under that heading, I wouldn’t do it. It’s a way of life; a way to enter natural sanctuaries closed to other forms of transportation. These sanctuaries are not necessarily hidden or inaccessible, it’s just that those who pass through them with their power machines cannot make contact with them; never actually see them or interact with them the way it must be done if we are ever to get to know this world.
The kayak glides silently over the waters causing minimum disturbance. The aware paddler uses this to ‘enter’ into these sacred places. The power boater rips through, raping and destroying. It should come as no surprise that the distance kayaker does not think in terms of taking but of sharing whereas the power boater tears through the waters to show off, or rushes to some spot on the River, or on gravel bars and there sets up his lines and lures to hook, torture and kill whatever he snags. Some will claim they just do catch and release – oh, how sweet. I’m sure the fish with its torn mouth really appreciates the difference.
To indulge in the torture and killing of innocent wildlife just to get one’s jollies is truly sick. The more of it I see, the more disgusted it makes me. For I know that as long as Earthians indulge in this sort of cruel behaviour, the more troubles they are stacking up for themselves in the near future. You will reap what you sow. If you can torture an animal to death and find it pleasurable, you certainly can do the same to another human being: there is no difference, except in your own mind, slaved as it is to consensus reality.
Ah yes, kayaking. There are four avenues I can take with the kayak when I enter the [Fraser]River from the little Hope river. Two going north and east, and two going south and west.
One north-east run leads to Harrison Hot Springs – a nine to ten hour non-stop return run except for two or three very short breaks. That one I did two weeks back and it was an amazing outing, even if a bit of a killer pace.
The second north-east direction would be up the River all the way to the Agassiz-Rosedale bridge. I haven’t attempted that one in several years since I almost drowned doing it before. However, I had a poor design kayak then. Now I know I can make it, if I find the desire. Not a particularly romantic trip this one. Some challenging whirlpools at the Mount Woodside pump station area (west of Agassiz, north side of the River) but otherwise just basically a lot of sweaty hard work.
There are two directions I can take going west and south. One which I did last week takes me all the way up the Vedder canal and into the fast-flowing Vedder River which sources from the Chilliwack River which in turn drains Chilliwack Lake and Cultus Lake as well as the water sheds on both sides of the picturesque Chilliwack River Valley. An easy downstream run in the morning, grueling and challenging upstream run later. Round trip: 7 to 8 hours depending on the height of the water.
The second possible run would be down the River to Dewdney or possibly Mission. That means a tough grind coming back home all the way against the current. That’s one I’ve not yet attempted. When I do it, I’ll make sure I have camping gear and enough food for two days in case I can’t do it all in one. That’s how I used to do the Harrison run in the days of less experience, weaker muscles and slower boats!
(Anyone can ‘Google’ these names and figure out what I’m talking about here. You could probably get a better idea of the distances than I’ve ever bothered with. I don’t care how far any place is, just the condition of the water, the length of time needed to complete a run and of course, the condition of my own body.)
Kayaking on the River and her tributaries is certainly an experience beyond words. There are so many aspects to it as the body does a work it obviously enjoys doing and the mind is freed to just ‘look around’ sensing all that is there, the visible and the invisible, the material and etheric; that which is of this ‘time’ and that which has been or will be.
Obviously I encounter many interesting aspects of nature in these outings, but one I must mention as being more of a teacher of awareness than all others. As I paddled back from the Vedder river, struggling against the wildly fluctuating currents and whirlpools along the foot of Chilliwack Mountain I spun into a little bay between two great cliffs. There the current smoothed out nicely and the wind eased off. My nostrils filled with scents of flowers and green growing things, of damp moss and wet sand. It was like being in a garden by the sea. I can’t describe the scents except to say they were intoxicating. So powerful that whatever hunger and thirst I had been feeling completely disappeared and I felt as if I had the body of a young person. I felt light, strong and, to borrow a term from “Patch Adams” (the movie) I experienced a sense of ‘excessive happiness’ for no reason. As I reluctantly paddled out of this little bay into the River to continue the scents changed to those of a fresh fruit and vegetable market. In the air I could smell and even ‘taste’ the various fruits being offered so freely at this etheric table.
I understood then that with more self-empowerment and less anchoring to Earthian belief systems it is quite possible to rejuvenate oneself… and to be a ‘breatharian’ as we must ultimately become if we are ever to develop complete empathy with our surroundings.
[breatharian: one who lives without ingesting any food or liquid. It is claimed that some living on this planet today can do this. I used to think it was a far-fetched theory, but now I’m not so sure. As YLea would say, ‘Believe all things, believe in nothing.”]
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|Reviewed by Patrick Granfors
|Regis you make me feel like I'm on the river. Very nicely done especially with your seamless narration of some of humanity's failings. Eileen and I took kayak lessons last summer and had a lot of fun. We rented one in Ventura harbor and spent a wonderful afternoon. We plan to buy ours when we get settled into our Missouri home on Table Rock Lake.We can hardly wait to wander up the James and White rivers. Be well. Patrick|
|Reviewed by Jon Willey
|-- slip gently through the environ -- coexist peacefully with all of nature -- I agree -- as for hunting as sport, it serves no need I have -- if I were left to survive by preying and killing -- I would not survive -- another very interesting write Reg -- thanks -- God bless -- JMW|
|Reviewed by Linda Law
|Lovely to read... lovely to watch when in motion. lindalaw|
|Reviewed by Mary Coe
|Wonderful imagery. This was very interesting reading.|