River Noise

posted Jul 9, 2012, 3:09 PM by Richard Sevenich
On Friday, July 6, 2012, six of us paddled the 35 km. via the Pend Oreille River from Sandpoint's Memorial Field to the Mud Hole at Priest River, where we had stashed our return vehicle with trailer. The first half of the trip was pleasant, relatively quiet with light boat traffic. Other than Dover Bay's Ostentatia Point, the scenery through this stretch features the river's wide expanse, a few farms and homes, and the nearby mountains in the background. After noon the boat traffic picked up significantly (as did the heat), not only because it was later in the day, but also because the river shore on both sides is packed with everything from trailers and shacks to pretentious second/third homes. No doubt many folk were extending their July 4th holiday. There were the pesky jet skis, bigger boats pulling water skiers, wake boarders, and inner tubes. The noise of the many engines was augmented by the too prevalent modern version of boom boxes - lots of people insulating themselves from nature.

When I was much younger I would have been part of the noise and congestion, but now I find it obnoxious and mindless - as if jet skiers etc. were a different species. It makes me appreciate Lake Pend Oreille, which even during the heavy vacation months, still has its quiet spots. And in April, May, September (other than Labor Day weekend), and October the lake is at its finest and well nigh deserted.

I talked to a fisherman acquaintance today. His recent experience was much the same. They fished until it got noisy and then found a quiet spot on the lake for lunch and a swim.