I have always loved driving along the Waits River. Fast-running, shallow and winding, it continually beckons. For years I have wanted to explore it. My explorations have been limited to one brief visit four years ago, making observations for a class. I stood knee-to-waist deep in the water looking for aquatic macro-invertebrates (insects) and trying to catch fish with a flour strainer. That is my idea of fun. My investigations were limited to about a 30ft stretch of river. I dream of walking up the river to its source and examining its contents along the way. Too bad I can’t get paid to do that!
It isn’t only my scientific curiosity that lures me to the river, but its beauty. In every season I am awed by the moods of the river. Sometimes it sparkles with ice and reflected sunlight and other times it is dark and ferocious, filled with debris. The thousands of times I’ve seen the river it has never looked the same. This fact is comforting to me.
I have even grown to enjoy the dam. I would prefer the river untouched, but I like to watch the water coming through the dam in the spring, or in a big storm. It’s so powerful and beautiful. It’s also fun to kayak into the rapids at the bottom of the dam and let them whip your kayak around and spit you out. It is partly the Waits that holds me to this place.