Pack good!

Play fair!

Listen up!

Have fun!

Hang on tight when the Captain says so!

 

Stay hydrated!

Look out for each other!

Respect the critters!

Love the River!

 

Don’t lose your sewing kit!

 

COFFEE! COFFEE! COFFEE!

 

Day begins on the river with birdsong,

resurgent willows, cliffs and shadows,

surging sun poking through a notch

in a butte face, Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

french toast and bacon.

 

Down come the overnight habitats,

ingeniously rigged and shaped to embrace

the sleepers dotted about this beach

washed a grain at a time from the West Elks,

Eagle Nest-Gore, the Never Summers

and countless unnamed washes and arroyos

contributing redrock sediment of ocean eons.

 

We are off and away, a striped cucumber-

looking bug alights on my left arm, climbing

towards my elbow feeling his way through

the filament forest of my limb, I flick him

in the direction of the tamarisk grove

he and his fellow beetles are defoliating

in favor of the resurgent willow sharp tooth

beavers cut their lodges out of, see

their dragging chutes plowing down

the sandy banks.

 

A Cooper’s Hawk on river right watches

us navigate the shallows.  Noon’s a hike

to granaries of the gone Ancient Ones

who’ve left hands imprinted on a cliff

face wall, a boy and his mother or

father and daughter waving welcome

 

Feathery hands bridging a thousand

years of river flow (thundering at times)

that languidly turns another today as

in the river we drift this hot afternoon

tucked in life preservers bobbing past

a row of shoreline judges rating our

water ballet!

 

Guides David, Julian, L.B., T.J. and

Christian make it possible for us

to be here, no plug ins,

just the current of the Colorado

bearing us on.

 

(With Holiday Expeditions, Moab through

Cataract Canyon to Hite, June 23-27, 2012)

 

Greg Hobbs

 

 

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