It was a beautiful saturday afternoon back home on Long Island and the end of days of the residual warm weather of the summer was imminent. Returning home by train I watched out the window as the moving portrait of the bustling city started reverting from an urbanized behemoth to nothing more than a mere farm and forested rural area. I had arrived back in the fork’s of Long Island where me and my friends were to embark on the last day of our coveted kayaking season.
We loaded up my friends Tacoma ratchet-strapping down our kayaks equipped with all the necessities of the usual kayak trip (especially in fall); salty-processed snacks, bait, tackle box, fishing polls, dry-bag full of money and phones, towels and most of all the the much long awaited Pumpkin beer of our local brewery Long Ireland. We began our kayaking trip towards the mouth of Flanders Bay situated within the north and south forks of the island. This river that feeds the bay is our absolute delight of the summer, the Peconic River.
On our excursion we went from mere streams and meandering creeks to large expansive lakes and finally to the dykes and dams of the river we loved so much. In order to regulate water levels and allow roads to cross the river there were certain drainage pipes that paralleled the best water slides, and there we revved our paddles and dropped through them. Next were the walls situated for regulation that were sloped just such that the waterfall it resembled became a well guided descent into the white bubbling cauldron of river water below, and yet again we paddled fiercely, gripped and steadied our kayaks and free fell downward. Our theatrics not only impressed those who drag their kayaks around these hazards but also those who attend the riverside pizzeria where children run along the edge yelling to us and the parents and tourist take pictures of the sights of the local river.
It is at this landmark do we know that we shall soon see the pier of downtown teeming with farmer markets, under 12 fishing competitions, outside cafes, the aquarium’s river tour boats and the crackheads migrating to feed the ducks after their rehab meetings. Up ahead is the marina where we wave to the patrons enjoying one last outside party on their moored vessels. Some come to their boat’s dock for pictures of a few kayakers paddling by, some run over to hand out a complimentary and friendly beverage offer. Yet another great feeling on this river is the selfless and jovial life that inhabit it.
As we make it to the bay we at last enjoy the green lushness of the surrounding river area complete with snappers breaching the water, herons stalking the rivers edge and friendly intoxicated fisherman offering small talk. It is as as serene, calming and engaging as anything that we could ever experience, and so much better is the last day of the season because it is as anticipated as anything else our whole entire summer.
When you were younger and your mother wouldn’t allow a bowl of ice cream in front of your favorite TV show until you finished your homework, it became common place to try and sneak those very items in haste and secrecy. However sometimes that ice cream and that show became that much more enjoyable when waited for it, it became that much more elusive to you and somehow it turned the mundane into something so much more. That saturday was my long awaited bowl of ice cream.