When we heard that Oklahoma would no longer require registration for canoes after June 30, Matt and I immediately made plans to take a canoe trip through Stinchchomb Wildlife Refuge sometime around the Fourth of July. The refuge lies just west of Oklahoma City and north of Lake Overholser. On Friday of our extended holiday vacation, we dusted off our long-neglected canoe, loaded up the truck and a cooler, and headed out.
This was only the second time Elle and I had ever been on a canoe. Our first go-round took place the day after Matt proposed to me, and we made our way back and forth across a lake in the middle of Jekyll Island, Georgia. The lake was wide enough to toy with my distance perception and initiate my seasickness. I knew what the problem was so I promised Matt that I would be willing to try canoeing again, but only one more time.
It was a workout, as you can imagine, paddling away for an hour or so. Halfway through our trek into Stinchcomb, I triumphantly declared, “We should do this in Lake Superior next summer! And in the Yellowstone River! And anywhere there aren’t rapids!” Next to boogieboarding, canoeing has become my favorite water activity. I noticed that just being closer to the bank and the water’s edge lessens my sensitive motion-sickness sensor. I’m so glad I gave canoeing another try!
We had made it into the North Canadian River at the perfect moment, it seemed. The clouds lifted and the sun finally appeared for the first time all day. While Matt and I marveled at our near-perfect record of good timing (we have been calling ourselves the Official Masters of Good Timing for years now), we happened to paddle our way right onto a small riverbank beach. Since the sun had had its way with us for awhile that afternoon, Matt and I hopped out to play in the river while Elle opted to stay on shore. She still hasn’t adjusted to life in the water when that water isn’t the ocean.
Egrets and herons stayed busy fishing for lunch and turtles sunned themselves on fallen logs. Beneath the Route 66 bridge were scores of scissor-tail flycatchers’ nests and the birds frantically flew all over the place. It was truly such a beautiful day outside that even the colorful graffiti on the bridge’s underbelly seemed to add a nice touch to our day on the water.