On the River

Confusion at Lee's Ferry We arrived at Lee's Ferry early in the bright morning. Energy was crackling through the crew as they rushed around. There were hurried introductions -- Garrett's friendly voice boomed as he offered to help me crush my black bag down, to squeeze just a little more space into it. I was afraid it would explode if he touched it.

Names: Sarah, Nathan, Edie, Nelson, Roger, Jennifer the cook, and Laurie and Lisa and all the other passengers from the orientation the night before -- we loaded our black bags, and scrambled around, trying to make sense of the bustle and remember names at the same time.

Soon the boats were packed. It dawned on me that we were supposed to ride in one of them, but nobody was telling us which one. Should we ride with Sarah? Garrett? Edie? Roger? Nelson? Nathan? Nathan was the trip leader. Sarah was attractive. Nelson was running a support boat, and not carrying passengers. Edie was the owner of the company, and seemed a little aloof. Roger made me nervous with his river knife on his yellow PFD, and his sardonic grin.

Garrett was running a paddle boat, and I didn't want to paddle because of my left hand was causing me trouble. The boats were filling up. Apparently Roger made everybody else nervous -- his boat was empty. He looked at me and said "You can ride with me if you like, Kent". I wasn't sure if I liked, but I didn't see any way out of it. On the other hand, he managed to remember my name. So Ms Fong and I climbed into his boat. So did Bob and Kathleen. We shoved off at about 10:30 am. The sun was hot, but the river was very cold.


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