On two recent paddling outings the noise levels were quite different.
When we paddled downriver, there were the usual highway and railroad noises as we paddled from Lafarge to Kamloops. When the trains weren’t running it was relatively peaceful. As we approached Kamloops and the morning started to wane, the power boat and personal water craft crews started to emerge. The decibel level went up to the invasive level. In general we try to avoid the river or busy lakes when the boat traffic is on the water. It is the noise pollution that is the issue. Once water ski boat had large mounted speakers which boomed out as it roared upriver. Most boat owners are more sensitive to their effects on others as they pass by homes, walkers on the shore, and boats on the water. The sounds of silence were present on intervals until about 10:30 am, then the sounds of the city took over.
Recently a paddle in the Tranquille Floodlands was quite different. There were no other boats at all, even when I crossed the river. An occasional train went by, but the only sounds were those of birds and waterfowl. An escape from the noise pollution that infects all of our lives is always welcome. Part of the quest into the outdoors is to find places where there are no high decibel noisemakers. The sounds of silence can enrich our lives which is one reason why we paddle, hike, and snowshoe off trail, out of range of man-made noise pollution.