It’s one of those nuclear hot Salmon River afternoons. Up on a sand bar bench, our metal dish buckets heat themselves without help from a stove. T and I are cooking dinner, trying not to add our own sweat to chicken fajitas and a black bean salad. I slide down the beach to drain a few cans, my brain running menus, boiling times and vegetarian options. It’s the end of a trip. I feel muddled by heat, my muscles sore from rowing against the wind.
“Blamph!” My head snaps back, my sunglasses crooked on my face. I take a few sharp breaths. — There’s a moment when a boater knows she has botched her line. It’s not as… Continue reading
This day was a crap day of boating the Grand Canyon. Not because the canyon was any less majestic than usual, but because I was in a crap mood. I know, I’m not supposed to say that. I’m not saying it was a bad trip overall, or that I wasn’t grateful to be in one of the most remote and extended river canyons in the world…
Holding an oar into whitewater is like putting your hand on the beating pulse of an animal with claws. Most guides are connected to their rivers straight from their hearts. Our oars in our hands are the bible that translates the river’s beat into something our human brains can comprehend.
But inevitably we come off the river, out of the forest, up from the desert canyons – and what then? Where do we take showers and stock a refrigerator with Tillamook ice cream?
It’s springtime in Montana. The mountains and the rivers say so – no matter what calendars, groundhogs or daylight savings time dictates. Spring in the high west is when the peaks still hold… Continue reading
The next time you cram your feet into your favorite ski boots, climbing shoes, or river sandals, make sure you’re in a quiet place. Turn off your music, ask your friends to be… Continue reading
Arrival I’m shivering in the airport. Two weeks of warm, humid Southeastern air has made my skin thin and my sweater not thick enough. C picks me up, wearing her down jacket. “Oh… Continue reading
I wake up to a ring of what must’ve been the morning coffee call. The almost full moon (or was it already fading?) that rose last night between the canyon walls has disappeared into… Continue reading
There’s a very serious nine year old boy perched on the front of my yellow boat. In one hand he grips a spinning rod, his other hand clenched onto a blue cam strap.… Continue reading