Having grown up in Kansas I’ve seen and fished the Arkansas River in many different forms. I’ve fly fished the headwaters in Colorado for rainbow trout. I’ve traced it’s disappearance in western Kansas as irrigation has forced the river underground. I’ve fished for channel cats in Wichita in a river you could walk across and never go more than waist deep. I’ve also seen inklings of the rivers power during flood season as it tested its banks. Driving to Arkansas over the last years I’ve driven over the river many times and wondered at the breadth of the river from the bridge.
It wasn’t until today that I was able to see the river in it’s true majesty. I knew there was a system of dams and locks to allow barges movement up and down these waters but had never seen it up close and personal. Until today. I went to one of several boat access sites near me to check it out. It is indeed a powerful river. At the place I stopped it was about a quarter of a mile across. The lazy waters of Kansas were replaced by the swirling turmoil of deep water moving fast. The bridge pictured above is actually a lock and dam construction that I’d driven numerous times and never seen. The waters stretch around the bend and off toward a destiny with the sea.
The power of water has always entranced me. I stood and watched the flow as it rushed by and wondered about the mysteries going on just beneath the surface. It was raining and cold so I didn’t test my luck but it was well worth the drive to see and stand beside this majestic river. I will be back.
THOUGHTS: Rivers are a lot like our lives. They start out small and full of energy rushing to get to their destination as quick as possible. Along the way they face trials. Sometimes they get used up by circumstances and go dry. Other times they are overwhelmed by the rains causing them to lash out at everything in their path. But No matter what try’s to stop them or block their path they move forward. It might take a long while but the river can overcome whatever try’s to stop it. Eventually they reach their potential and become a life force for the lands that surround them. And finally they grow old and join with others as they merge with the sea. Rivers are a journey just as life. We need to live it for all it’s worth.