Category Archive: Rivers

A Boater’s Hands

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.

Ode to a Boathouse

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?

Sav(our)ing Daylight

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

I’m Sorry, Toes

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

A Week in Bozeman – Autumn

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

Someone Else’s Grand

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

A Water Education

“Emerald, that was a really moving essay about your dad,” a friend commented after my reading of a piece published in a department literary magazine a few years ago. “But now you have… Continue reading

Red Squares

When I was twelve years old, I went on a Middle Fork of the Salmon river trip with my family and a group of their boating buddies. I built sand castles, splayed out… Continue reading

Ladies Boat

A half yell/half tune erupts from the bow of the eighteen foot raft. “Ohhhh it’s ladies boat! And we hope it floats!” I roll my eyes at the ruckus but it’s hard not… Continue reading