Note to readers: It is apparent that this blog is going in two directions, and this troubles me not in the least. We have Stephers, Steve and me, and we each have our own ideas. Please note on the left (on a desktop) that you can follow the writer of your choice. The following piece is my type of thing, a reminiscence about a man I admired, mixed in with a trip we took and some side canyons. Stephers is writing about the intricacies of Covid and the vaccine. Steve is about wildness (and a man I suspect he might know, Howie Wolke, turns up in this piece.) There is no conflict among writers on this blog. If I was any kind of a computer guy, I would redesign the blog to accommodate all three of us. That is way above my pay grade.
Last year we took a trip north to my old haunts growing up, the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, and Yellowstone National Park. We revisited places I had known as early as a youth of ten years old, finding them intact. I vowed that the trip would not be sullied by electronic communication … no blogging, no email, and certainly things I had already quit doing … no Facebook, Twitter, and things I had never done, like Instragram.
It was a rough trip in some regards, sitting on the bank of the Gallatin river, nothing to do but watch the passings by, the birds, boaters, fishermen and sons, but no way to exhort my family and friends and former classmates to share in the adventure. It had to be done without outside approval, those obnoxious “likes” that take on unwarranted importance in that small world. I had to watch the river, the boaters and their dogs, a flock of wild geese stupidly imprisoned by wire fences (we set them free), and the father and son sharing the adventure of fly fishing. I took it all to heart without broadcasting, as in the old days, the small events of my life, shared with no one, the meaning of which were in my heart, meant to stay there, but unlike most, later shared by written word.
This year my wife and I revisited our adventures of twenty years ago and more recently, and a place that defies description, though I will try … Utah. It is vast and beautiful and charming, haunting and harsh. The desert has unique flavor and beauty, and can kill a man. We’ve just returned from that trip, and I’ve been writing off and on about a man I much admired, Edward Abbey.
Continue reading “Down the river”