Since the age of twenty-two I’ve followed moving water.
I follow it as it piles-up on the mountains like frozen white blankets covering the wrinkled backs of an old ancestor. Putting the skis away, I follow the melting snows down the creeks and rivers in the spring and summer.
Now, at 42, the pursuit of water moved me again. This time to Bend, Oregon. Tana, Trey, Brooke and I left Montana after last raft season to Bend for a variety of reasons: Brooke’s family lives in Bend, Bend is a trailhead town, we were looking for a little more action in our lives and the schools are great.
However, it’s biggest draw, snow covered mountains providing downhill and cross country skiing. In other words, ample water to play on in the winter!
As I ponder the upcoming move back to Montana, as I ponder the importance of moving water, the currents take me back to all the wonderful memories, crazy adventures and beautiful people that the river has brought to my life.
Two words occur to me. Two words that epitomize the real value I’ve gained from life: experiences and relationships. Moving water provided the backdrop to so many exhilarating experiences, so many high quality relationships.
Soon, our guide training will start. New guides will get their first taste of commercial rafting. As we train our skills on the guide stick, refine our swift water rescue technique, learn the ins-and-outs of pre trip prep and post trip breakdown, I’ll be reminding everyone that the two most important things in life, the two most important things at Pangaea, are relationships and experiences.