Monday, September 13, 2010

The Haw

Youngest and I took the canoe and paddled a bit over a mile up the Haw River from the bridge and dam at 15-501, South of Chapel Hill, NC. We began that ride with me capsizing the canoe, and dumping us both into two feet of water. I had been trying to get into the water from the bank, without getting my feet wet. "You did it wrong," as Youngest put it. We were cool for most of the trip as a result, regardless of the 85 degree heat and bright sun.

We worked our way between rocks and small islands up to where the slope finally climbed out of the long pool created by the dam, and the rapids started again. We nosed the canoe into the rapids and let the current turn us back. Then we pulled up on a muddy bank and sat on a long peninsula to eat our packed lunch by the sound of the rushing water. Everything tastes better outside.

Later, on the way back down the river, we stopped at one more large stone island, where Youngest thought the best sketch would include the canoe. Then he looked at me with gleaming eyes and suggested that only the boat (an unnatural Coleman green) should be in color. Here's how it turned out - and Youngest was right.

All of these sketches were done in my small moleskine, 3.5 x 5.5 inches on each page (these are double page sketches, hence the seam in the middle of the drawings). Fortunately I had the foresight to put the sketchpad in a plastic bag, securely sealed and with air in the bag to float it. The floating didn't turn out to be necessary at our accident, but the bag did.

Here, finally, is the last sketch of the day, of Youngest paddling the canoe alone, threading our way back through the rocks (and doing as well as I had earlier) while I drew. I'm not happy with this one - it misses what I wanted, and has a whole host of errors - but I like it anyway, because it reminds me of the day, and the bright beach hat Youngest wore, with flourescent colors, which attracted a butterfly (a semicolon) which sat on the side of his hat for almost five minutes.

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