Paralympic Travel Odyssey

Usually, my approach to big trips is to largely ignore them (besides taking care of details like checking the passport expiration) until I’m on my way. This time, heading for South Korea for a month, leaving in a couple of days, I’ve been doing a bit more stewing. Don’t get me wrong, it is very exciting. First time to Asia. Our son competing on the world stage. Having Ruby and Eli join us for part of the time. And then following up the games with two more weeks of travel with Sawyer. All pretty damn cool. There will be stories!

At the same time, I go back to my usual bias on travel adventure, which is that I’d far rather be dropped off in the middle of nowhere and figure things out than, in this case, be dropped into a country and culture utterly foreign, exotic and challenging on many levels. Totally undecipherable language and signs for starters. An absolute antpile of humanity – this is a country of 40 million the size of Indiana, and much of it is too steep to live on. A small town in South Korea is 500,000 people. Then there’s the angst of getting around, finding our AirBNB, reuniting with the kids, trying to communicate – all in the knowledge of how limited my tech abilities really are. What could go wrong, right?

A friend who spent several years in South Korea recently said it’s like landing in a country where everyone wears their underwear backwards. Once you get past the different habits and customs, you just go with it. So yeah, maybe we’ll come home with some different underwear styles.

Another friend who spent time in S. Korea in the 80s went over from Japan for a weekend and ended up spending two months because he loved the people, the food, the country so much. “They finally kicked me out because my visa was up,” he said.

My strategy, at this point, is to go with it. This is no official tour. We’ll go, we’ll check things out, we’ll follow local intel and travel tips, we’ll eat some strange and wonderful and maybe alarming food, we’ll go to baths and get scrubbed til we bleed, we’ll hike and bike and island-hop. We’ll no doubt have some sobering, culturally awkward, maybe dangerous, certainly hilarious, escapades. We are almost certainly not fully prepared. We’ll do our best, get help from our children, lean on the good nature of locals, and then, kind of appropriately, we’ll return on April Fool’s Day, back to Seattle and the land of things familiar. By then, no doubt, it will be a great relief to be home, to look back on our silly anxieties, and we will look at our turf with new eyes.

Why does everyone wear their underwear that way???

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Paralympic Travel Odyssey

To The Moon!

We made plans. Set the alarm. Put our warm clothes out, got the binos. We would rise in the early, frigid dark and make our way along icy paths to the ridge above town, just down the street, where we would find a seat from which to witness the shadowy, silent spectacle of lunar eclipse – this special blue, super moon. My only dilemma, whether I’d have time and inclination to make coffee for the outing.

At 5 am the shadow had already started to creep across the face of the moon. The sky was clear, the moon low in the sky, but high enough that we could see it clearly from our bedroom. “Maybe we could watch from the front porch,” Marypat said. “Hell with that,” I said. “We can watch from bed!” Which we did. Pillows propped behind us, mugs of hot coffee in hand, binos at the ready, a luxurious perch from which to observe the slow-moving drama.

For a time a blue rim edged the moon. A bird flew across the lunar face, like a movie clip. Marypat caught the streak of shooting star. The moon lay bathed in orange glow, gray and cratered and serene. We talked about the ancients who watched such events, how they made sense of them, how they figured them out, what stories they might have told. Marypat thought it was the moon closing its eye, an opportunity to change, and when the eye opened again, you could be reborn, transformed, illuminated anew.

The full eclipse lasted and lasted. Eventually the moon slid to the edge of our window, and started to drop below the roofline of the neighbor’s house. Only then did we gird ourselves, take the dog, walk down toward the low ridge overlooking town. Lots of people were there – dogs, cameras on tripods, cars in the parking lot.

Finally, as daylight seeped into the scene, the edge of the moon gradually began to brighten. Then it flared silver, like the bright edge of new coin. Slowly, slowly, it became a fingernail crescent. The wind came up, a cold wind. I started back toward home, careful on the ice, watching the creep of cold light engulf the red face. By the time I got to the bottom of the hill, I could just make it out, huge through the trees, heading to the far side of the earth, half lit on its inexorable and mysterious journey.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on To The Moon!

What a World . . . (rant warning!)

Lately I’ve been plagued by more than the usual ANNOYING ENCOUNTERS WITH THE ELECTRONIC WORLD and it makes me consider the state of our lives, dominated, as they are, by electronic devices that are more and more maddening and patently unhelpful. First, Marypat and I tried to book flights to South Korea in March to watch Sawyer compete as a guide in the Paralympic games. Exciting stuff, but the engagement with the Internet, trying to navigate the process to purchase tickets, turned into a complete quagmire. I admit to plenty of pilot error in this regard. If you make a single mistake – say, like saying there are 2 passengers, one of whom is a senior, it becomes impossible not to be charged for three tickets. It’s a long story with multiple chapters that makes me tired to even try and recap, but I don’t think I need to recap, because we’ve all been there, right? In the end I spent almost two and a half hours on the phone with a very nice young man in India. We finally decided that the best course of action was to cancel our original tickets and purchase direct flights, despite a price tag several hundreds of dollars higher. By the end of it, I felt like I’d actually made out like a bandit, the relief was so great. Hours on the phone with someone in India – really? What ever happened to the travel agency you booked a flight with? Don’t get me started on the AirBNB booking. Luckily Sawyer helped with that so it went relatively smoothly and probably only took us an hour.

Then there was the task of signing Ruby up for next year’s FAFSA Pell Grant for college. Once you’ve ground through the process one time with each kid, it’s relatively easy, except, in this case, when we got to the sign and submit page and it wouldn’t take the user name and password that I’d so carefully written down from the year before. No amount of trying to change the password seemed to help, even with Ruby at my side. Finally we gave up, called the FAFSA help line and navigated this whole process, barely understanding the accent of the person on the other end of the line. Again, close to an hour on the phone and it turned out to be some stupid missed step that made everyone feel like an absolute imbecile and, once we figured it out, it went through like a charm. But, by then, we’d avoided the problem for days, spent hours on our own and another hour on the phone to sign a damn piece of electronic paper.

Sure, I know, I come from the age of the typewriter, but this is our world!!?? We have to keep a hand-written list of user names and passwords and security question answers in the desk drawer because there is no way to keep track of that stupid shit. Then, every six months or so, we are told to change the password for security purposes? What security, by the way? Suddenly, all those things that used to get handled by HR departments at work, customer service agents, travel agencies and so on are our responsibility? We have to keep track of our hours, submit time sheets, book tickets . . . and, more often than not, there’s a service fee tacked on for the privilege of submitting online. I remember, for example, in the old days when we wanted to reserve a Forest Service cabin for an overnight stay. We’d call the FS office, ask about availability, talk to a desk ranger who would book us in and take our payment. Now, we have to log on to a government site, remember the damn password, search out the targeted cabin, put in all sorts of information, find out if it’s available, and then pay an additional $9 booking charge because now the process is so spiffy and trouble free.

All of this is presented to us as a wonderful and efficient improvement on the clunky old ways of doing business. More than that, we are told that it is a much more seamless and very secure way of getting things done. All of this is total mythology. Security??? Well, we know better now, don’t we? Efficiency, for who? Didn’t feel very efficient spending an afternoon talking to a room full of phone cacophony in India just to change a ticket.

Look at all the information we have access to! Look how we can find cheap deals! Look how we can contact anyone about anything in the world! Look how we can buy everything from books to vacuum cleaners from the comfort of our kitchen table!

Yeah, yeah, of course there are some advances that are worth it. Am I glad that I don’t have to type an entire page over because I made a typo? Sure. Am I relieved that I don’t have to spend hours in the library researching some arcane bit of knowledge that I can now find on the internet in seconds? Yup. Am I happy that I can email an editor or business contact and not have to wait two weeks for the snail mail to deliver a reply? Yes I am. But in the entirety of life, is this juggernaut we have no choice but to be hitched to a bargain worth making? That seems very much up for debate.

In my college classes we sometimes have discussions over the costs and benefits of electronic devices, the World Wide Web, and social media. Especially social media. Even for those who were born on the Internet side of the divide the price is obvious, the extent to which their lives are dictated by these devices is seen as burdensome. And yet, what are they to do? Can’t very well just hop off that bus and survive in this culture, can we? I know, I tried. I held on to that typewriter to the bitter end, until, literally, it became completely impossible to do my work. And hey, look at me now, Mr. Blogger.

What we end up concluding, inevitably, in those course discussions, is that we need to get better at treating these devices and services as tools. And we need to remember that we are the boss, not the phone. Yeah, sounds good, except that these things aren’t like the hammer you have in the tool box. That hammer just sits there, inert, waiting the days and weeks and months between times it’s needed. The Internet and the devices that run off of it are not inert. No, they are hungry beasts. They are expressions of capitalism that want our attention in the worst way. They nag us, they chirp and beep and alarm at us, they entice us, they wave frilly geegaws in our face. They make it all but impossible to treat them as tools, and to forget them between jobs.

I read somewhere recently that only the truly wealthy among us will be able to afford the “luxury” of escaping the electronic world. Struck me as interesting. You’d think that greater wealth, if you believe the conventional wisdom we’ve been fed, would afford us more toys and more access. If these things were actually the freeing, liberating, joyous toys we are told they are, then of course you’d have more of them if you could afford it. But no, the quote called freedom from the electronic world a “luxury”. The luxury of being left alone, of experiencing silence and simplicity and a lack of clutter, freedom from the nagging, beeping, distracting world we have gotten ourselves plugged into over the past couple of decades. The wherewithal to purchase our freedom from enslavement, which is what it has become.

Now there’s some incentive to make my fortune!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What a World . . . (rant warning!)

Snow Geese

Snow geese have been filling the sky,
along with the first big November snows.
Through the gray, sifting day as
I shoveled the sidewalk,
their talk constant and urgent overhead,
their elegant geometry, lines and V’s,
skeins of them pushing south through the

And this morning, out walking Beans
in the barely lit day,
full moon bathing the white fields,
no one else about.
Again, overhead, invisible in the pale light,
loud and steady,
talking their way toward open water
and fields of grain stubble,
leaving me with winter.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snow Geese


A photographer friend recently revised my concept of the fall season. I had always thought of it as a beautiful waning of the year, when leaves withered on trees, rivers ebbed to anemic winter levels and the world girded itself for the harsh austerity of winter. Not at all, he said. Fall is the crescendo of health, when everything is at its peak. The leaves burst into a brilliant display, animals are at their most robust, the world is shouting with exuberance and well-being. Fall is the peaking of the fat season.

Ever since I have bounced back and forth between these realities. I see a stream dwindling and I think of the coming ice, the brittle time of year. As the trees turn skeletal and dark, I think of months of low light to come. And yet, his image is also hard to deny in the flush of fall color, or when I see a herd of sleek, fat elk lounging in a field.

The last couple of weekends have been indulgences in the robust version of fall.

First, a 30-mile, overnight paddle down the Yellowstone River between Columbus and Laurel, Montana, with cottonwoods fired up dazzling yellow in the sunlight. Tailwinds pushed us along down the miles. The river is bouncy and unpredictable there, even as it shrinks toward winter levels. We camped on a sweet sand island just below a set of high cliffs. Ruby and Everett, Martin and Billie, Marypat and I – our three canoes nested together below camp. Coyotes caroled in the darkness, geese lined out like elegant punctuation in the skies, the river murmured past all night. We sat by the fire in coats and hats, held mugs of hot tea close, listened to trains moan in the distance, and for two days with the river to ourselves, we forgot everything else.

Then, the next weekend, a visit with Eli and Sam in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. I had forgotten how stunning the larch are in western Montana and northern Idaho. The mountains were painted gold with flaring larch groves. While Eli and a friend went hunting on Saturday along the Idaho/Montana border, Marypat and I hiked in the opposite direction to Blossom Lake, a six-mile round trip through dense conifers. There, the trail was a shag carpet of larch needles. Sunlight filtered through the thick forest, lighting up the steady glitter of falling golden needles. Magical stuff.

Today there are two inches of slushy snow on the ground. Driving and walking are treacherous. It feels like winter has arrived. But there in the pocket of recent memory these two weekends of flaming beauty sending out the season in fine fashion. And with us lucky enough to be in the middle of it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Brilliant!

This Schitzy World

Recently I received my Medicare card in the mail. How the hell did this happen? Suddenly I’m among the elders. Young people call me sir, out of some generic habit of respect for old people. Marypat and I have sporadic conversations about retirement – whether we can, how it might look, whether we really want to, what adventures might still be ahead, and which of them are pipe dreams no longer very accessible to us. We are discussing another major northern expedition in Canada, and wondering whether we can pull it off. We talk about becoming vagabonds, living out of a van, traveling and visiting and exploring. We talk about a lot of things, while the days march past, friends and family members die, others enter the world, nieces and nephews get married, start careers, buy houses, succeed and flounder by turns.

I have so little to complain about. I have health. I have love and companionship. I have strong family bonds and essentially no strife. I manage to make a living doing mostly what I like to do. I live in a secure part of the world, for now. Despair and tragedy are fairly distant prospects covered by the nightly news. The sun rises spectacularly every morning. The moon waxes and wanes, washing the sky with its creamy light. The rivers run downhill and the chickadee calls each morning.

And yet, looming over it all, over the quotidian rhythm of my days, is the specter of something truly sinister and unfathomably grave. Above and beyond the politics, alarming as that has been, Mother Earth is struggling to regain some semblance of equilibrium in the face of our excess, and she wields gargantuan force. From unprecedented floods in Texas to absolute Stone Age devastation in Puerto Rico, from “flash drought” in NE Montana to cataclysmic fires in northern California, from earthquakes in Mexico to hurricanes hitting Ireland, the scale and power is staggering. I say it is a response to our excess, and I believe that – oceans warming, injected wastewater deep underground, mountains of waste and garbage, overcrowding, denuded landscapes. How can the earth, the organism that sustains us, not respond? I’m no scientist, but common sense would suggest that the kind of burdens and demands we have placed on the natural balance would require a reaction.

Don’t get me started on the politics. I’m tempted to start the litany, begin the rant, but we all know it, are already tired of it, and are sickened at heart because of it. It is a pall as real as the smoke-heavy skies we endured all summer in Montana.The longer I live, the more I am convinced that the right response to damn near every situation is acceptance, generosity, love, sympathy and compassion. Our politics, now, are the absolute antithesis of that.

And so, yesterday, the one-year anniversary of my father’s death, Marypat and I loaded up the ancient van with two solo canoes and the dog. We spent the afternoon paddling the lower section of the East Gallatin River. It was one of those, “wrapped in gold”, days, as Marypat likes to say. The russet grasses undulated in the breeze. We startled coots out of the weeds. Beans lay on his bed, resting his muzzle on the edge of the boat. A red-tail screamed that iconic scream from the top of a cottonwood. We stroked along, side by side, while the early snows in the mountains set of the edges of this bowl of horizon we are lucky enough to live in – the Bridgers, the Tobacco Roots, the Spanish Peaks. Yellow leaves shook loose from trees, gusted to earth. Fish jumped. Sunlight dappled the river, bend after bend.

We came home in the waning day, unpacked and stowed the gear, as is our time-worn habit. People arrived for our new tradition of Sunday night dinners – family, friends, friends of friends. We sat around the table sharing warm, plentiful food, talking, telling stories, laughing. Not a cell phone in sight.

If you believe, as I do, that the way you are in the world changes the world, then that is what we were doing. It sounds pretentious, yes, and it is, to think so grandly of one’s impact, but what else do we have?

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on This Schitzy World

Another Summer

Year by year the currents of time speed up, so that, looking back, it’s like scenery clicking past as I slide downstream on a heady flow. Suddenly, it’s fall again. I am back to riding my $5 town bike up to campus and greeting another crop of younger-and-younger-seeming students who have decided that college might be a good idea. The tomatoes are hard to keep up with but the potatoes are long past.I watch the cobbles of experience flash past under the hull of my boat, try to catch what I can before they get lost in the mosaic and the season is gone.

Smoke has infiltrated our lives this season. It clings to the valleys like dirty mist. The sun and moon rise like orbs of ripe fruit, alien skies, remarkable and disturbing. Eastern Montana and the Dakotas are experiencing drought like never before in human memory, including the Dust Bowl years. They call it a “flash” drought. Four months ago they were worried about flooding, about saturated ground. Now, they would give their tractor for a half inch of rain. Meantime, of course, Hurricane Harvey dumps 50 inches in a couple of days, the water in the Gulf of Mexico simmers at 90 degrees, a metropolitan area the size of Connecticut lies under feet of fetid water.

The smoke that oppresses us this summer serves as a metaphor for the pall that hangs over our country. A country, now, where our president can’t make it through a day without a lie, where Nazis march in broad daylight, where young people who have lived and worked and contributed to our country all of their lives fear being deported, where the rights of sexual orientation are under siege. Where corruption and treason are passed off in the interest of political gain. Where cynicism and hypocrisy and blatant falsehood have taken the place of reason and integrity.

Meantime, oddly, life goes on in this lucky place. At the same time our foundations erode, we travel, we share vacations, we support our children, we put boats on rivers and climb peaks and relish the luxuries we have come to assume are normal. I think, more and more often, about the other people through history who have watched tyranny and fascism creep into their social fabric, how they couldn’t believe it could happen, how they kept on as if everything were normal, because, really, what else could or should they do. It feels that way here and now.

So yes, summer is waning. Life rides on down the currents. We look back at the gems of experience and shared time – the Owyhee River in May, the Middle Fork of the Flathead in July, the Wind River Mountains in August, and more to come before winter clamps down. We relish the week in Lander, sprinkling dad’s ashes next to mom’s under the ancient juniper tree in the lovely Red Canyon where the Little Popo Agie runs past the base of the cliff, where the ancients left their mysterious markings in the sandstone, where the energies that were the vibrant lives of my mother and father come full circle and return to the red soil, to the probing roots and eager earth. We watch our children carry the torch forward with their own robust and adventurous lives.

And over it all the smoke hangs, cloying and dark. We wait for it to lift, for the air to clear, for some restoration of sanity.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Another Summer



It isn’t hard. You don’t have to plan. Don’t worry about going far. It won’t take long. Just go.

I was reminded how easy it is, how powerful, just last week. We decided to escape the summer heat on a nearby river with some friends. We didn’t leave town until after work. The put-in on the Madison River was 30some miles away, but we didn’t get on the water until 8 pm. Dark was coming, so we only floated a mile or so down, found a funky little unassuming island to camp on, and spent the night.

We made a fire, had a beer, caught up. The moon rose, nearly full, casting its silver path of light down the rippling current. A racoon messed around on a gravel bar upstream. The temperature cooled. The riverside cliffs loomed behind us. Everything else receded, the way they do in places like that. Work, family, tensions, deadlines, all the things that complicate life – they slipped away. We stayed up until nearly midnight under the moon and cliffs, with the water sliding past, whispering with mystery. There were fireflies, or something very like fireflies . . . in Montana?

No rush in the morning. We slept in, made coffee, ate some bagels while the day stirred with white pelicans, golden eagles, sandhill cranes, bank swallows, deer. The float is only half a day long. We lazed down it, taking it in, chatting – boat to boat. We discovered new channels, swapped boats, stopped to let the dog pee. The river bore us down toward the confluence at Three Forks.

We were off the river by mid-day, avoiding the inner tube crowd. Less than 24 hours, all in all. But it felt like we’d had the reprieve of a week on the river. The warm, magical night, comrades around the fire, sleeping to the sound of water coursing downhill over the smooth cobbles.

We returned, after this brief little pause, and picked up life again. Or was it life we had just left.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Now!

Three Days . . . Three Rivers

Traditions are a good thing. They keep me up to speed, set a deadline, establish an expectation. With traditions, it’s hard to waffle. This one began with a fantasy. Actually, fantasy might be a little strong, because it might really happen one of these years. Call it a whim. Years ago, I thought about how sweet it would be to spend the entire month of May traveling around Montana, camping here and there, and running all those ephemeral spring rivers. Rivers like the Sun, the Dearborn, the Sheilds, the Clark’s Fk of the Yellowstone, the Boulder, the Belt . . . On any given year I pick off a couple of these, in addition to my favorite local spring runs, but what if I just stayed out all month, meandering from put-in to put-in, figuring out shuttles, checking off a couple dozen of those seasonal flows through little-visited chunks of Montana terrain?

Turns out it’s hard to take a month, or to get anyone else to take a month to do that. A couple of years ago I put out a call, suggesting a sampler of the fantasy – using the Memorial Day holiday weekend, picking three rivers to run, and camping out between. It seemed to strike a chord. Quite a slug of friends thought that sounded like a good idea and joined up. Now we’ve done the third annual and are up to as many as nine boats at a time on these river days. More people keep asking if they can join up. We’ve had people show up from as far off as Arizona. Kids latch on for a day or two if they’re around. People come for one day, the whole time. Some float every river, other’s pick and choose depending on weather and health and how the juju feels that day. Everyone is self-sufficient, everyone is competent. The unstated motto is something like – take care of your own shit, show up, have fun.

Now we have a string going, nine so far, a list that includes a number of firsts – the West Fk of the Bitterroot, for example, the St. Regis, and little Silver Bow Creek, all this year, all new, all unique and challenging and worth returning to. Runs have taken place in drenching downpours and hot sun. There have been log jams, dumps, unexpected diversion dams, adventures with barbed wire, a few bushwhacks, some shit-show scrambles for shore, a culvert or two. There has been comraderie, conversation around campfires, car caravans through downtown Missoula in search of tacos, some lovely campsites and a couple not so lovely.

The important thing is that every year the focus is on new water, fun paddling, unexpected beauty, goofy adventure, enough hairball challenge to keep everyone on their toes and that yearly escape on jumpy water when everything is lush and green and popping with spring. I’m left with the image of glancing back on a straight stretch of the St. Regis, over near Idaho, and seeing a long string of blue SOAR inflatables parading downstream. Or of the sudden, blinding downpour in the Sluice Boxes of Belt Creek. Or of the cow-pie riddled camp near Bean Lake on the upper Dearborn. Or of Lee t-boning the log at a railroad bridge 60 seconds into the St. Regis float, having to accomplish a hairy self-rescue, while the rest of us scrambled for shore to save ourselves. Or of the brilliant day on the upper Sun, with the rampart of mountains breaking over us like a huge, rock wave, and the river stepping down through the layers of sediment in that remarkable canyon. Or of that stellar camp along the upper Blackfoot, shaded by ponderosa pine and full of friends putting together a ‘stone soup’ dinner potluck.

And it’s only been three years. By the time I get a month free, I will have done all of them. But then, I could use the month to revisit the top 30. Yeah, tradition.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Days . . . Three Rivers

Gauging Season!

This time of year, I check the USGS streamflow gauges every day. Actually, I peek at them all year long, mostly out of slightly compulsive habit and in search of the occasional surprise (like last year’s November bonus of floating the Smith River). But starting in March, even February, I look at Montana rivers almost daily. I also check Idaho, Utah, and a few other states where seasonal floats are always on the radar. I check the Rio Grande in Texas probably monthly. You never know.

How did we manage before real-time streamflow gauges? Word of mouth, notes in journals. Serendipity, faith. Much the way we used to assess avalanche danger before snowtel sites and avalanche reports. “I don’t hear anything whumping, do you? Let’s go!”

This year’s gauge-watch period began with the Dirty Devil, in Utah. Unfortunately, that gauge delivered FAKE NEWS and we were sandbagged by low water in early March, but managed a stellar trip nonetheless. Since then it’s been the Owyhee in Oregon, which has had a bumper spring this year, and which we floated with Sawyer and Bella and a group of Boise friends in early May. It was my third time down the stretch from Rome to Birch Cr., and it stands as one of my top ten floats in the west, maybe even top three. One day of slightly hypothermic conditions and steady rain, but otherwise really memorable.

Since then I’ve been concentrated on Montana rivers, which have had a really robust spring rise. We’ve gotten down all the stretches of the East Gallatin, from Bozeman to Manhattan over the course of a month, done the lower Madison, always a swooping spring charge full of cranes and eagles and heads-up braided channels. Managed to get in a blustery day on the Sun in April, a gauge-watch candidate if ever there was one! This past week we did another run (maybe our 10th time. . .) of Belt Cr., between Monarch and Sluice Boxes, which I think stands as arguably the best single day of floating in Montana – limestone canyons, constant read-and-run rapids, the odd log jam to avoid, no people, and the rollicking amusement park ride through the Sluice Boxes at the end. God what a great day, and we hit it with warm sunshine and terrific water levels.

Now we’re gearing up for the third annual 3 Rivers/3 Days trips over Memorial Day. Watching the gauges and assessing the best trio of floats has been an absolute moving target and a roller-coaster of river levels. We’ve finally settled on the West Fk. of the Bitterroot, the St. Regis, and Silver Bow Cr. – all new stretches for everyone, all seasonal floats – very much in keeping with my initial inspiration to spend a chunk of spring out in Montana doing little rivers and car camping in between.

Then there’s the Boulder, the Shields, the Yellowstone, the Dearborn, and all the rest that will bear watching, being ready, and when the gauge is right, heading out the door. All with a bow to that sweet, solar-powered, satellite-driven technology – maybe I’m not as much of a Luddite as I thought.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gauging Season!