I need to outgrow the habit of putting food in my pockets. I got back from another five day river trip today, and like the responsible adult I pretend to be, am doing laundry. The great thing about the spin cycle is that it nicely separates the candy wrappers, soggy gummi bears, nail clippers, twigs, change, and rocks from my pants and socks. The chapstick never fairs as well, unfortunately.
I tried something new on this past river trip. I attempted to record bits of events throughout the day, though out the trip. I attempted. I failed. I made two entries and both are distinctly grumpy in flavor as they were written on days when the wind was threatening to fling me and my boat into the sharp rocks and spiky plants. So, I’ll just record my usual summary of what immediately comes to mind about the last few weeks.
Well, the last five days were spent river rafting and shocking fish. The weather vacillated between April and January. The river greeted us with rain and gusts of wind on our first day. I lost an oar (but got it back). I caught it on a rock and sent it flying as I was furiously flailing away from the rocks towards which the wind was pushing me. I have amassed the most interesting collection of blisters on my hands. Everyone else seems to have settled into calluses. Not me. I just get new blisters in new spots on each trip. Eventually they will run out of new territory to colonize and be forced to form calluses. Or so I tell myself.
The high water made the San Juan a much more exciting river to row. Stretches that had been flat water on previous trips presented as washboards of waves and the current made each stroke more of an effort.
I gear boated the first day, which meant that all I had to do was get from point A to B then to C (and set up lunch) then to D and finally Camp (E?) before the shock boats. Gear boating is supposed to be your relaxing day on the river, but the increase in weather had an inverse relationship with my relaxation abilities. (AAAAAH Not the Rock!!!)
The weather was better the following days but still threw windy temper tantrums on a regular basis. We caught the usual cast of fishes: Catfish, Pike minnow, bullheads, and suckers. I was only stabbed by one catfish on this trip. I think I am getting better at this!
There is one good thing about the serrated razor blades that serve as catfish fins. The little buggers practically net themselves. All you have to do is get the net near the catfish and it gets its spiky little self stuck in there. Of course, you then have to untangle the slimy pokey thing from the net which is generally when the stabbing happens. It could be worse. It could be a carp.
That’s it. I am going to have a bowl of lucky charms, fold my laundry, and go to bed. There better not be any gummibears stuck to my sheets.
And a few photographs for you viewing pleasure:
last night on the river, from the camp site.
cool, catfish leeches!
wait... I thought we were hiking to an arch. oh well, this is cool, too. (but maybe we'll take the map next time)
when was the last time you looked closely at a lichen? I suggest you try it. Amazing (and no, I am not on drugs I swear)
Cryptobiotic soil, also AMAZING!