Healing Wabash Wounds
Homer L. Twigg IV — One of the first things that I realized while canoeing the Wabash River these past four days is that I really wasn't on the river until I had begun to heal from the wounds the river inflicts on me.
We all came home with blisters, scrapes, bruises and sun burn. However, the day when I woke up and noticed that some of those minor injuries were already healing, I began to understand the Wabash River in a new dimension that was outside simple aesthetics.
Over the course of 120+ miles, we had grown and flowed with the river. Walking on the land right after 12 hours of canoeing feels strange because you don't move at a rhythm with the land beneath you.
The Wabash River will slowly take over her travelers, forming them into people who will work tirelessly to make the next bend in search of new wildlife, scenery and answers to the dozens of questions the river poses. Even with our differences, by day four we were all paddling at the same stroke, both mentally and physically. We laughed more. We started showing symptoms of "too much fresh air", a phrase invented by jealous city-dwelling folk. Like driving long distances or biking, canoeing has the mystical ability to make the traveler work on just one, simple action--like paddling.
The mental effect of focusing only on one task is of a certain natural bliss that abounds as one gets inside their own head and begins to do spring cleaning. The best moments on the river are when you focus so hard on the paddle and focus so little on time and yourself that miles of river go by before you can say, "Hey! Where'd Attica go?" or "Wasn't it just 2:30!?"