Giving nature a bear hug

I am discovering I am one of those people who likes their nature condensed. Confused? Mountain ranges surrounding me, a natural fortress, with a ribbon of water cutting a path through a valley floor. I want trees that hug me close and loom over me like an older brother might. My rivers are narrow and glide over rocks, the playful whitewater waiting to make the unsuspecting their bitch. My river whispers say my name. The nature I'm most comfortable in offers shade and that perfect hiding place.

I appreciate my West Texas roots, but others can have the dry, desert climate. Where trees aren't trees but merely overgrown shrubs. The wind across the plains is a drug, but I would rather scale a mountain to catch the horizon and look west across my front yard and see for miles.

Wednesday morning I settled into a canoe named 'Scud' and set my sights across Thompson Creek. More estuary than riverine, the creek was merely a precursor to the Bay and, for many, simply a launching point for their mini yachts. Wide and flat, the only excitement came in the form of white caps that formed when the wind set in. Beautiful? Yes, but my arms burned as I fought the wind, propelled only by a well-crafted boat and the power of my paddle slicing through the Chesapeake. Give me my condensed, whitewater nature any day ; )