Some years ago, when the television show Northern Exposure was airing first-run, I recall that the character Chris Stevens read a portion of a classic children's book on his radio program. The book was Paddle to the Sea, written by a fellow with the illustrious name of Holling Clancy Holling. (Who the heck uses the same name twice?)
It's been years since that episode of Northern Exposure jostled my mind (and that TV show's demise is the only lost show I have ever grieved). But recently I went in search of this classic children's book, written back in 1951. It was a book I remember reading as a child, and I picked up an old hardback copy in recent days and took a new journey with Paddle. Amazing.
Reading Paddle to the Sea also reawakened my desire to get back on the water in my kayak. Last year Becky and I made the whitelick creek run to our house several times, and Eagle Creek Reservoir is always a great romantic sunset paddle (if one is into that sort of thing, kissing in the middle of a lake without tipping over . . . we don't do it, of course, but it's just an idea).
Now that I've read Paddle to the Sea, I also want some more adventuresome water challenges. The Great Lakes come to mind, or perhaps White River, closer to home. But people have died kayaking these waters, so I feel I should send Becky out to scout the territory before I actually attempt it.
But it's still winter, and so I'll shelf Paddle for another time. Until Spring. I'm already dreaming of water.