Although the Otter Tail River runs along just across the street here on Mt. Faith, other houses have been constructed over the years and the trees now obstruct all but a few thumbnail views. However, on the steamiest day yet this summer, we discovered the go-to spot just two blocks away. The water was flowing apace but not too swiftly, having left behind the rapids by the Broken Down Dam a mile upstream, just beginning to curl back into the biggest bend downstream where it lanquishes for a while into a wide lagoon before rushing for the bigger falls beyond. Now I get it. There’s a reason that scantily clad groups hoisting inner tubes have walked by the house this summer. They’re locals that know about the “in” spots. The temperature that day was the proverbial bathwater yet gratefully far cooler than the air. And there was a very large rock which serves as a perfect diving board – notice the person in the picture perched atop and the splash below. I’ll save the diving for T.M., but I love to “tube”. This swimming hole on the river also provides an access/egress point for kayakers and two of them just happened to pull in when we were there, and gave us a good account of the rapids upstream -“a bit dicey”, and a short lesson on equipment and all we needed to know -“kayaks are more stable than canoes”. (And thank you to Sheridan who recently gave us the same advice.) In Long Beach when we lived by the canals, we often took our canoe out into the bay on a moonlit night – or went across and tied up at the Safeway for groceries or at Hoolihan’s for a martini. And when we lived in Humboldt County in northern California we had our favorite swimming hole in the redwoods, known only to locals, where I could float in the beautiful Eel River. And so – who would have known – we have the best of both worlds here on the Ottertail and while I’m not so sure I’m too keen on rapids, it does seem a shame not to take advantage of our own backyard. So, we’ll see.
Two blocks in the other direction the river slows and swells into a wide bend which provides a perfect home for the Canadian Geese and other waterfowl.
As T.M. says – “Life is Good!”