Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Riggins, Idaho

I can now say that I have lived in a trailer, down by the river.

I don't know if I would say I 'live' in there - I just come to sleep after long, playful summer days and nights. In a former life, it was the office for the river company, so it has two rooms and a tiny bathroom without a shower. I pulled up the 'driveway' one night, illumintaing a 4 point buck in the 'backyard'-ish space in the bottom photo. Awoke the next morning at 5 am to the sound of machine gun fire and lightning - a summer hailstorm on a tin roof that knocked our sales network offline for the next four days. You can see traces of it, little white piles of hail on the porch in the top photo.
July 5 was my first day running a commercial trip on the Salmon River. Our company runs 16' Maravia rafts with stern mounted oar assist and paddle support. For non-boaters, that translates to a behemoth, multi hundred pound mass of rubber, with human powered plastic arms that stick out to give the beast momentum.

I started the morning as a passenger in another guide's boat, adding a paddler to his odd number of passengers. Our lines through the rapids were for the most part clean, until our last one of the day. I have now experienced my first, and if I have my way ONLY, commercial flip and class III swim with clients. At least we sent them home with a story, right? :) All things considered, the guests thought it was an awesome adventure.

The thing is, the Salmon, and all of the wild, natural features of this earth are like the God of the Old Testament - no respecter of persons. The elements have no regard for how straight you just went into that wave, what your kid's real age is, or how much those glasses cost. This isn't a plastic coated, hand paved water park. This is a raw vein of water that has carved thousands of feet through the granite and basalt layers of the crust of the planet - play upon its' surface at your own risk. And 99.9% of the time, you'll absolutely love it.

I have found deep peace with my decision to come here. I feel that I am in the right place at the right time, a feeling I have been devoid of for months of years at a time. It was liberating and appreciated for a while, but something in my has docked here and set anchor through the depths to a familiar bedrock. I am home, all is well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Month in Moab

I've settled down for a brief moment again, this time at my mother's home in Boise. I'm en route to Riggins, Idaho for the remainder of the summer and likely part of the fall.

I felt like leaving Moab came much too soon. There were dozens of things that I'd talked about doing, wished I'd done, etc. Going there to work for a month meant that despite my deep love for the area, I was there to work for a month, and did, with only a few days off.

I love rafting, I love the Colorado River. Met some wonderful people from all over the country, made some friendships I intend to maintain indefinitely. Made some memories with co-workers, all of us part of a family company that is ever evolving, and intensely close-knit. My send-off night was a riot; dressed in costume, we stole the stage for karaoke and shut the bar down. The karaoke DJ was calling us "TCP" - The Costume Posse.

I was sad to leave the R Lazy H Ranch and the wonderful people who live there.
It was a fabulous month.