Around this time last year we had the awesome (and totally flattering) opportunity to collaborate with the great guys at Thousand Lumens on behalf of the tireless and never-thanked-enough work of Melissa and the good crew at the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. For all of the nuances of newness that autumn does invoke, it no less ensouls a sense of culmination, a kind of climax that had been building up. Harvest-time, if you will. After several trips up to the Point area last year in spring, summer, and fall, to work on a joint project of a general recreational guide for the SPA Bureau and an area-specific paddling guide for us, we were filmed during one of those paddling trips we took. After the shoot we had lunch. After lunch we went back to the studio of Thousand Lumens to record a voiceover for what would eventually be edited down to the film. With nothing but utter humility and inexpressible thanks, we can now offer that finished effort here. (Adjust to 1080p for the best picture).
More from Timothy: For as long as I can remember, I have always loved autumn – “fallen” for it hard and fast, headlong and inevitably forlorn, like no other time of the year. As a kid, I would collect choice maple and oak leaves from the neighborhood off the sidewalk or lawn, choice colors in crisp red, yellow, and orange, and send them in the mail to my New York City ex-pat grandparents who’d long ago moved down to Florida. In high school, my best friend and I would make mix tapes of our favorite songs that captured the season under an umbrella word we made up – “Oktumnal” – and traded them with each other (always leaning pretty hard on Led Zeppelin III). And then there was going to college freshman year, in September, around the time when Fall fell. Years later, and many times since, I would find myself moving to new homes – sometimes in wholly new parts of the country – often in autumn. It’s not for nothing that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins around the time of the equinox. There’s no other season that even comes close to tapping into the groundwater of my soul like autumn.
Here’s the text for the voiceover:
One of my favorite lines is “every river tells a story.” Every river has a narrative – the best ones have meandering plot twists, adrenaline moments, some conflicts, and tension-relieving denouements. You begin here, encounter this, that, and other things along the way, and then finally end there – somewhere.
For me, paddling is an outward expression of an inward obsession, a pastime and a passion. It is a merging and marriage of my two favorite things: water itself and being outside.
There’s something about the look and feel of Central Wisconsin that I just love: the gentle hills and swift river flows, the big boulders and swaths of pines and cedars, and the kaleidoscopic colors of maples, ash, aspen, birch in autumn – only a fool couldn’t fall in love with this area!
If Portage County and the City of Stevens Point are the gateway to the north, as if often said, then so too is the area a kind of geological hinge between two distinct landscapes – namely the Northern Highlands and the Central Sands. Both landscapes feature signatory pine trees together with a cheery mix of deciduous which invoke that deep-seated feeling of being up-north.
From craft beer to bike rides, skiing and hiking, and of course paddling, there’s so much to do up here – in all four seasons. It really is one of the prettier parts of Wisconsin, and a place I love to return to.
I wrote a whole lot more than that, which will come to the surprise of nobody! But there’s only so much that can be snugly fit into a two-minute spot. Autumn inspires brevity – the shorter days, the falling temps. There’s much work to be done, sure; but still there is a spirit of carpe diem during the glorious blaze of the season. It’s a short window of time that allows for some of the most beautiful paddling and then raise a glass to toast the year.