If a bad day on the river is better than a good day at work, then a good day on the river must be, well, perfect. If there is such a thing as perfection, then that is it for me. From the gentle Etowah and Chestatee rivers to the Chattahoochee, Cartecay, Hiwassee, Chattooga, Tuckasegee, Ocoee and the Nantahala; from the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho to the bashing white water of the Arkansas River in Colorado, I can think of no better way to stimulate my senses, and to touch, sometimes, my soul. It doesn't take a complicated set of rapids or an extra-special boat; it's as simple as breathing the air, looking at the natural surroundings, and as Burton says, finding the V's.
Did I enjoy my weekend? You bet.
Today is Labor Day, the day we traditionally bid farewell to summer. I have always found summer to be my favorite season. It's not that I don't like the other seasons; they all have their charms. But I particularly enjoy summer sports, summer fruit, the long days, the beach, a good suntan, and for the first 20 or so years, summer meant no school. Even better, summer meant camp! I think I will always be on "The Quarter System," and summer will always be my reward for passing all the tests taken during the rest of the year.
As for this summer, I hardly have much to say, as I have no perspective on it yet. It definitely was not as great as the summer that John, Brent and I went on a Middle Fork trip, followed by adventures in Yellowstone and the Tetons, culminating with Matthew Bagen's wedding in Jackson Hole. That trip was definitely outstanding, for all the right reasons. But this summer had its highlights. I will always remember the delicious meals delivered with such care, the scrumptious hugs, real and virtual, and the prayers and wishes for my recovery that were spread over near and far. I'm counting on the memories of radiation, chemotherapy, and scans and medical tests of all forms to fade. The next season will likely include the drama of major surgery and the loss of a vital organ, and more treatment. Perhaps I will aim for using the winter solstice as my turning point. I like the metaphor of darkness to light. From the shortest day of the year forward, I will strive to begin my recovery and reentry into the practical world.
There is still work to do before final decisions are made and put into place. That means that tomorrow I will do what I do on most days - put one foot in front of the other.
Love to all.