Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 24, 2016 - Following a Giant


This is part of the unique Cathance River, partially tidal and then giving way to freshwater.  And it all happens right here at this waterfall.  It’s half frozen and half flowing, the water spilling downward, flowing outward, and finally freezing.  Most of the dam is buried under a couple of feet of ice now.

The Cathance where it "changes."

What a time I had getting to it, though, since there is technically no access to this section at this time of year.  I was lucky to find what I call “giant footprints.”  Have you ever found giant footprints in the snow?  They were huge!  There was just one set of them leading in along with some animal prints.  I stepped into the giant footprints made in the snow by a person much, much larger than me.  His stride was enormous, and it was all I could do to stay in his footprints.  But stay I did because it was better than forging my own path through the snow.  Oddly enough, his prints led into the waterfall, but there were none leading out.

There’s a small open shelter in the background, and I have spent many a day there eating my lunch in warmer weather.  I wonder if the giant went to the shelter?  I didn’t go that far.  I wonder if he had a giant’s lunch?  I’m assuming giants eat very large sandwiches washed down with a couple of gallons of river water.  I had a little bit of beef jerky, hardly enough to keep a giant satisfied but enough to fuel me to follow the same set of the giant’s footprints back out again.

He’s quiet for a giant, I’ll say that.  As anyone can tell you, they’re usually obnoxiously loud, making all manner of noise especially when cooking a meal.  He has kept the falls flowing by smashing through part of it, most likely when getting water for his tea.  This is actually beneficial as the backed up water can freeze and cause difficult conditions for the humans in the area.  We should at least be grateful for that, but hopefully he’ll leave before spring because he’ll attract millions of black flies.  Easy target and all.

But back to the Cathance River.  It’s one of those rivers you just can’t help but love at any time of year.  There are serene flatwater sections of beauty and crazy whitewater sections (for well-seasoned rafters only).  There are deer, beavers, muskrats, turtles, etc., all along its banks.  Now that it’s winter, the ice shanties are going up, and little frozen towns are being created everywhere while people fish, talk, laugh, and drink.  They keep little fires in their shanties, and though it sounds odd, the ice stays firm and the shanty stays reasonably warm.

This is the Cathance, home to many creatures and occasionally giants.

The almost-frozen falls.
 

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