Recently my wife, whom proof reads some of my posts, made the comment that it sounded like I did not give people, other than guides, enough credit for appreciating the value of the river and related outdoor experiences.  Apparently she felt I was coming off too strong in making it sound like only guides, whom are on the big creek for a significant portion of their lives, can reach such close experiences and deep ties to nature.

In my defense, as it is always hard not to try to justify one’s position, I reminded her that it was  a blog I am writing, and my blog at that. Which means, the views I present are about my perception of the world and how I experience things. No way, can I know for sure to what depth and meaningfulness other people experience the same world we all live in.   Of course, my intention is to hopefully convey what nature does to me, and in so doing, inspire someone else to want to join us on the river. Either  so they too can have another great  river experience, a different approach, or a first time engagement with the watery world of downhill currents.

It may sound trite or far fetched,  but I have seen people have life changing events during the course of an extended river journey. The power of our collective natural world is truly astounding.  As a guide, it has always been about how to provide a vehicle for other people to also appreciate the river experience at the utmost pleasurable potential.  I have never lost sight of the fact that the reason I get to continue having the great experiences on the river, is because of other people who have the means and interest to be enablers. Only, in this case, in my biased opinion, this is a good kind of enabling. Perhaps “perpetrators” would be a better word for “enablers?”

Often I have seen guides whom like to bask in the lime light of being a “guide” (in big quotation marks).  It is easy to get taken away by being the center of attention when a person is in a position of leadership and authority. Sometimes  a petted ego  swells  too far beyond the point of diminishing return, and the inflation can be that of intoxication. But, who likes being around an obnoxious drunk.?

What I particularly enjoy is finding out what motivates other people to have a good time. Rather it is hiking to unusual, and secret places I have discovered over time, snooping around cultural sites left behind by earlier  inhabitants, to swimming rapids, diving to see fish, or catching them on hook and line – the outdoors is a plethora of opportunities just waiting to be unleashed for the right people to come along at the right time and right place.

You have to go, to know. No substitute. Pictures and other people’s words are but a mere form of artificial representation of the real thing.  A map is not the territory anymore than a river log is the rapid.  When muscle meets the endeavor, the acuity of reality is actualized.  Thirst is quenched only by the drink. We are here for such a short time on planet earth, why not drink in everything we can. Down by the river, or on the river, is as worthy a place as any to enjoy water and life.  It doesn’t get any more primal than that. “Be here now, or get here when you can.” (one of my guide friends use to always say).

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