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The Trickle - Floating
September 1, 2009 - Brian Ferry
After three 14+ hour days of hearings last week (no, the actual hearing was by no means that long each day) I had had enough. And the people at work had had enough of me roaming the newsroom at night like a zombie. So, I signed up for the rest of the week off. On Friday, my brother and I spent the day together canoeing down the Allegheny from Kinzua Dam to the Glade Bridge (where we had to give back the Allegheny Outfitters canoe). It was great. I don't see my brother that much. To counter that trend, we have a new tradition of having a day-long photographic shoot of some sort every year (or so). I called him Wednesday to tell him I would have some free time. He did too. We set up the shoot. Usually, these things are done far in advance. We look forward to it. I didn't look forward well. I failed to charge any of the three camera batteries I carry around. So, we got about 30 minutes into the trip and my camera was no longer functional. I didn't feel comfortable dangling his camera (his is nicer than mine) over the river or keeping it out in the rain, so I didn't shoot much for the rest of the trip. Still, the trip in itself built up the memory pool. We investigated the anchor of the cable car line that runs across the river at the Visitor's Center. I'd heard it was stuck in a big rock. I was convinced that a big rock wouldn't be able to secure such a thing (what, maybe one inch cable, several hundred feet long?). We found that it was a BIG rock. We saw a large bird of prey, most of it, including the head, was dark (brown?), with several patches of lighter color (white/light gray?). We saw a paddlefish carcass. Very stinky, maybe three feet long. And, we saw some herons. I know, they're not exactly rare, but they were close and big. We frightened them (there were two and they were separate when we saw them) downstream a couple times then he got some excellent shots as they decided to head back upstream within 20 yards of the canoe. It rained steadily for about the second half of the trip, so he put away his cameras and we just paddled, chatted and enjoyed the rain-soaked scenery. Sometimes, even if you screw something up, or if nature tries to screw it up for you, an outing can work out well if you're around the right people.
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