» Karen and the Heron

Two of our favorite WIN members, Karen and Chuck, had an adventure of a lifetime on a WIN kayaking trip during the summer of 2013. The amazing picture on this page came from that adventure. Here is the story in their own words.

Karen’s version:

For about three years, Chuck had talked about taking a kayak trip down the Marias River near Loma, MT. He finally incorporated that trip into a fall kayak WIN circuit. Three of us joined him on this adventure in August, 2013.

On the second day of the trip, shortly after our lunch break, we were peacefully kayaking down this remote river. Although Chuck was the leader, I had floated just past him when suddenly I saw a Great Blue Heron coming directly at me. Great Blue Herons are very often our traveling companions on the lakes and rivers and many times seem to be showing us the way. However, this one was not showing us the way, but was coming directly towards me. Have you ever seen the wing span of a Great Blue Heron? Well, it is about 5 feet. Needless to say, I was more than a little bit terrified to see it flying at me; however, there was nowhere I could go!!! It gently landed on the front of my kayak without even giving me a bounce. I sat quietly and asked Chuck if his camera was handy. He was able to get it out and took two pictures before the Heron flew off. I don’t know exactly how long it was on the kayak, but it was awesome that it stayed long enough to capture an adventure of a lifetime.

Chuck’s poetic version:

Floating down the Marias one Thursday afternoon, we would be looking for a campsite all too soon.

Karen was in front just going with the flow and I was behind taking in nature’s great show.

em>Karen let out a gasp and I looked up to see a Heron on her deck as unconcerned as could be.

I fumbled for my camera in a bag on my deck and said to myself “he will fly sure as heck.”

I was amazed as he stood there like a part of the crew, allowing two quick photos, then off he flew.

Why he lit there at all we will never know, but for all who view this it was a mighty fine show.