“Hey, Reeg,” I say, watching him wading chest deep, offshore in the frigid river, well past sundown, when most normal river guides should be sipping scotch (as I happen to be). He is sponging off the scum line from his handmade dory, the Escalante, his beauty and dream.
He looks up at my quizzical smile, offering up all I will get: his characteristically inscrutable look through a knowing gray beard and nothing more.
He doesn’t talk much anyway, though I must admit he himself is probably expecting a typically smart-aleck comment from me. I must, of course, oblige. Over the years I’ve been observing, and finally have been drawn into participating in this little pre-Lava ceremony since I came to the Dories.
[Above: The author and clients, thankfully still upright, in Hermit rapid’s Fifth Wave. Photo: Rick Box]