Huron River, Delhi Metropark to Obama Bridge
30 May 2015
Ellen and I set out with the direct goal of squeezing this quick paddle in before a long day of rain started. As we drove out to the river under sunny skies, I said, “you know, I don’t think it’ll start raining ‘til we’re back home.” Minutes later, we very nearly hit a deer—like we came within five feet of it. Luckily Ellen saw it and braked hard, and the deer saw us and swerved hard back into the forest. That was the first bit of good luck.
Then, Ellen was driving to our take-out point (she drops me off at the put-in with the boats, then drives out to the take-out point, leaves the car there, and bikes back to me), she saw a cyclist fall off Huron River Drive into the river. This isn’t as nuts as it sounds—this road runs, in some spots, literally a couple feet from the river. Ellen, who got out to lend a hand and direct traffic, said the whole thing was very dramatic—the cyclist clawed her way up the steepish bank with seaweed sticking out of her bike helmet, and she had to fish her bike out of the river—but the cyclist was fine, even rode away from the accident.
So, hearing the long version of this as we paddled, I was near the long, overhanging branch of a tree on the bank when a giant “PLOP” sounded next to me in the river, and I looked over to see a chipmunk paddling hell for leather towards the bank. The poor thing had fallen out of a tree—and narrowly missed falling onto me or into my boat, which wouldn’t have been fun. This is when it hit me—we had all kinds of good luck around us!
When, a little later in the paddle, I turned around to see dark, ominous clouds coming at us out of the west, I thought, “do your best, Ma Nature—we have luck on our side today!” But we didn’t—we got totally soaked to the bone in a pretty serious downpour the last 500 yards or so of our paddle. Then we loaded the boats back onto the car in the same rain. As soon as we got in the car? Sun came out again.
But it was a fun trip all the same! We saw an osprey on the wing, herons aplenty, turtles, a wild turkey, a fawn with an apparent allergy problem (repeated sneezing on the bank), and the mama deer apparently sticking her tongue out at us. Maybe that deer tongue was a curse, and that was when our luck ran out.