Canoeing Montana's Clark Fork River
A waterway's poisoned past, present cleanup, and, above all, its natural beauty.
Another couple of meanders and I'm at my takeout, a fishing access site off the feeder road called Kohrs Bend. The place was empty when I hid my bike in the bushes four hours earlier, but there's a bright red Ford truck parked there now, and I pass its owner on my approach to the sandy spit where I'm beaching the canoe. He's fishing from shore and I give him as wide a berth as the river allows, apologizing for disturbing his water.
He waves me off with the self-deprecation I've come to expect from fishers almost anywhere but Texas: "I'm not catching anything anyway."
I paddle the canoe up onto the sand and feel the abrasive grind shiver through the thin hull and up my thighs. I get out and walk into the river, just standing there, chilling my ankles and stiff knees, and watch the baldy I've chased downstream cruise the jittery gusts over the highway.
Excerpted from Opportunity, Montana, by Brad Tyer, published in 2013 by Beacon Press. Copyright (c) 2013 by Robert Bradley Tyer. All rights reserved.