Category Archive: Rivers

Wildfire Air: Reflections on the End of an Idaho Guiding Season

Then one morning, I wake up to fire our coffee water and instead of pink dawn, it’s still dark. I fumble around for my headlamp, then watch the blue flames lick up a metal pot. A sliver of moon skates along the ridge above camp. I’m wearing my puffy jacket. The river sound bubbles against the sound of lit propane and instead of giggling, “summer, summer SUMMER” the river says, gently, “Here comes autumn.”

The Boat/Horse Vibration

“Okay, so now I need you to SQUEEEEZE her sides like you are SQUEEEEZING a bean!” my mom’s husband Greg tells me in his excited Italian New Yorker accent. “The reigns are like… Continue reading

An (Outdoorswoman) Guide to Beachy Hair Waves

know you’re not going to make room in your already packed ammo can toiletries kit for an extra bottle of conditioner. So if the SPF is the issue, why not just run some of your sports sun screen through your hair every morning? Disclaimer: I’m not sure how this will affect your shiny bouncy levels.

An Idaho Salmon

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.

Boating is an Abusive Relationship

“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

A Crap Day of Boating the Grand Canyon

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…

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