Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall Colors on the Lyon River

Soon after a late breakfast, I popped on down to Dave's house.  There wasn't much water to be had within striking distance, so we ventured out to the Glen Lyon, the longest "glen" (valley) in Scotland.  We took the boats, just in case there was enough water to scrape down the Lyon River. If not, we would just take a walk and shoot some scenic photos along the way.  

As we wound our way up the narrow road through the glen we caught glimpses of what looked like water!  The autumn colors were out in force and the air had a crisp cool feel on my face as I peered out the car window looking for a clearing in the trees enough to see the river.  

Seeing the autumnal views here makes me miss the trees back home in the Ozarks.  We don't get the color change like this in Oregon.  We arrived at the usual put-in for the gorge and it was confirmed...We would go kayaking today.  But first, we paddled across the river to an old "Roman" style bridge over a tributary to the Lyon to take a few shots.       

Fall is here in Scotland
These were two GORGEOUS trees that were right at the put-in

The old "Roman" bridge across from the put-in 

Trees over the river with kayaks in the foreground 

Leaf in a small pool of clear water 

Water under the bridge

The river drifts alongside the road, but retains it's secluded feel, especially as it is funnelled into small gorges with sheer walls on both sides.  There is the occasional fishing shanty or platform, but today we had the river to ourselves.  With the low water level, the rapids were "cute" and of little consequence.  

We mostly just listened to the sounds of the river, and took in the view.  We are most fortunate, us boaters.  We get to gaze upon things and places that almost no one else EVER gets to experience. There is just no other way to get there.  Something's special about that, and It never ceases to bring a smile to my face as I glide along in my little boat.  

There was one easy portage around a tight spot in one of the gorges.  The water is forced under either wall around a large rock that had fallen into the river ions ago.  With more water it gets run, but today we enjoyed the walk around it, and seal launched back into the gorge just downstream.  It's a pity too, because there were some really fun looking rapids just above this point in the river, but if tempted, you find yourself with no exit point once committed to the narrow gorge.  I was glad to be with Dave on this one, so he could show me where to get out.  It's always good to have friends that KNOW the river they are paddling.  It makes things much less stressful.  

Dave drops back in with style with a 15ft seal launch into the pool below

It was another fine day here in Scotland.  I just hope it rains more.  Only another week of river paddling is ahead of me, as I look forward to my coaching assessment next weekend.  After that, I'm headed to the sea!    


Jay said...

Paul, thanks for the pictures of the fall colors. I'd forgotten about how beautiful they are there til you reminded me. I remember the heather turning all sorts of colors on the hills. This is definitely my favourite time of year.

Jason Self said...

Nice pics dude! Looks like you're having a blast.

Saltman said...

Have fun on the coast. The fall colors remind me of Maine. Good luck on the assessment.

MJ said...

Paul, killer images with this post. The single red leaf, the glowing gold trees, the bridge. Wow.

I'm been getting on wait lists at the library for kayaking DVDs. Tonight I slid in a new one. I missed the open credits, but sat down in time for the first scene. A few minutes later . . . whoa. That's Paul! It was the Pacific Horizons DVD. You really shined at that standing wave . . . garnering bouquets from the director for your skills on the Director's Cut. Woo-hoo!