The Old Men and the River

August 16, 2018 – Ionia to Saranac, Michigan, 10 Miles

3.5 hours including lunch break

Tom Writes . . . 

CANOE and GRACEFUL never go together at our age.

My brother Joe and I are cute as can be, and strong. No ravages of age yet, no disabilities, still studly. Canoeing is easy for us. Our shoulders are strong; our hearts and lungs can take it.

 

Still studly, indeed. Notice how Tom takes after a young Walt Whitman here. “I celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

However, getting into and out of our canoe is a challenge, sometimes. Think about it: Canoe seats are less than a foot high, so sitting on them is a low squat situation. And, canoes move around on the water. No stable platform ever, getting in or getting out.

Hours in a canoe: One’s legs are stretched out ahead, motionless. It is not like driving a car for the same number of hours. In a car, one uses the legs, the feet, for pedals, but in a canoe, no pedals, no leg or foot activity.

So, a couple days ago, at the end of our paddle, getting out of the canoe, I ended up on my knees in the water, because I could not exit gracefully. Joe almost laughed. (Editor’s Note: I did not.) And then, I walked funny, on nearly-paralyzed legs for a good half hour.

Brother Joe has this line, when stuff such as this happens. He says, “That’s why we’re doing this canoe trip in our sixties, rather than in our seventies.” Joe and I both are in our sixties now, and the first time he said it, it seemed clever, even somewhat wise. But, now Joe has said it nine or eleven times, and I am sick of it, especially when he uses it to highlight my embarrassing canoe exit.

August 17, 2018 was a lovely day on the lovely river, in West Michigan. And, we old guys had a great time. We paddled and sang and laughed. Maybe take a look at this web site about the Voyageurs.
broken

-30- 

Thank you for visiting our blog. If you found your visit worthwhile,  please share this website with a friend. You may contact us by leaving a comment here or by email: joe@lengthofthegrand.com (Joe Neely) or tom@lengthofthegrand.com (Tom Neely).

 

 

 

 

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One Response to The Old Men and the River

  1. penncosect24 says:

    Getting into and out of the canoe in one’s sixties. Yes! It’s a challenge; but that you can do it —or are doing it — is wonderful. And what stories you can now tell! Whitman also wrote, “Great is youth, and equally great is old age…great are the day and night…Youth large lusty and loving…youth full of grace and force and fascination, Do you know that old age may come after you with equal grace and force and fascination?” I have my own canoe; perhaps one day we’ll join canoe stories. Yours on the Grand; mine on the Red River of the North.

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