Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rowin' on the River

This picture of Tim is the background on my iphone for several reasons. First, it's a great picture of my "Sweet Baby". And it brings back memories of a fun day we spent together a couple of months ago and a funny incident that happened that day.

This picture was made on the Little Red River at Heber Springs. We love Heber Springs. We have been blessed to travel to most of the states and several foreign countries, but no matter where we roam, Heber Springs, "where the Delta meets the Ozarks," just a little over an hour from Little Rock, remains one of our favorite places on God's green earth. Now if you're looking for upscale shopping and fine dining, Heber Springs is probably not the place for you. But if you like to get out on a big lake and go tubing (or in my case, ride in the boat and watch others go tubing), or if you like to float down a cold trout stream while fishing for rainbow or brown trout and watch the eagles, herons, otters and other wildlife, Heber Springs is your kind of place. There's shopping, but it's mostly boat stores and Walmart. (However, Heber is home to Aromatique, and they have a neat little outlet there called Panache.) Most of the dining is family-style places or mom and pop cafes.

Tim and I have been going to the Little Red for years. In summer it's the only place we know of around here where we can actually be outside in August and get cold enough in the evening to need a jacket. We sit on the dock as the cold mist comes drifting down the river and hangs over us, and it's so refreshing after 100 degree days.

On this particular day, we put our canoe in the river in the early afternoon. We planned to float about four hours, fishing along the way. We got off to a good start. There were a lot of fly fishermen in the river near the landing where we put in, and we had to navigate around them and a few rocks, but then we were on our way. The fishing was good. We were both pulling in some nice trout as we drifted slowly downstream. There was not as much current as we were accustomed to, and Tim had to row quite a bit, but he said he didn't mind, that it was good exercise. (We only had one paddle, but that's another story.) At one point near an island, the fishing was especially good, and Tim was ready for a rest from the rowing, so we tied up to a tree trunk on the island. The canoe is nice and roomy and has nice seats, but they have no back support, so I had been sitting in a small, and by that I really mean, child's, collapsible canvas chair. Tim had brought along an adult size chair for himself, but did not think it would be safe while traveling down the river, so he had stowed it under his seat. When we tied up, He decided to set up his chair in the canoe. He hadn't been sitting in that chair but a few seconds, and over he went. The canoe was rocking; I thought for sure it was going to capsize. I fully expected to be thrown into the water. But, after Tim hit the river, the canoe righted itself, and I was left sitting nice and dry. Oh, the look on Tim's face as he plunged into, then came out of the icy, cold water! Once I knew he was safe, I began to laugh. How I wish I could have captured his look on camera! Even though he was soaked, what he was really concerned about was his iphone. His old one had broken, and he had just got the new upgrade the day before. He had put it into a plastic bag in his pocket, but he didn't seal the bag. When he pulled his phone out of his shirt pocket, it was fine; he had folded over the top of the bag, and the phone was just a little damp. At first, he thought I had been rocking the canoe, but when he realized I hadn't, he had to admit that the chair caused his center of gravity to be too high. Thus, the overturn. So the chair went back under his seat. He dried quickly in the warm sun, and we contined our journey down the river. It went much more slowly than we had planned because there was virtually no current by this time. Tim got waaaay more exercise than he bargained for. He rowed and rowed and rowed. It seemed we would never get to the landing. I had to laugh aloud when he said, "I didn't realize we were going to go fishing in the Dead Sea."

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We made it to our landing before dark. Tim cleaned our trout, and we headed back to the farm, which is about a half hour away from Heber. We prepared dinner together and laughed about our adventures on the river. The trout were delicious!


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