|Sheep on a rock|
I haven't been on many river trips and, still in backpacking mode, I packed my little tent and a spork. My friends had a table, plush sleeping pads, and a kitchen. It's definitely a different way to travel. The shuttle alone took hours. It was reminiscent of sea kayaking trips where we had to practically draw a diagram in order to get the float planes, kayaks, gear and people to a remote bay. It can be frustrating, but is worth it once you throw off the lines and get started.
There's not a lot of talking on the river. The riffles make their own music and you are in your own little cocoon, occasionally checking to see where the raft is and which line you should take. I'm more comfortable on the ocean and in lakes than on rivers, and I have much more to learn. I'm drawn into eddies and over rocks and into the twirl of the wind.
|The enchanted poison ivy garden.|
I'm still a hiker, but I can appreciate rivers, especially big ones, that have flowed practically forever and will probably flow after we are all gone. There's something healing about a river too, and it is hard to get to the pull-out and know that you are done, at least for now.