I recently rescued this item from another journal site after ten years. A good memory bears repeating.
Sep 27, 1999 -- When I was in the second grade in 1949-50, my two best friends at Longden School were Suzanne Holmes and Annette Blanchard. At the end of the day, I hated to get on the school bus to go home.
Suzanne and Annette and I have gone down mostly separate roads over the past few decades, but it's been my great joy to renew our friendship since a class reunion in 1990.
In August of 1998 they invited me to go canoing on the Green River in Utah, near Annette's home. Suzanne came from Southern California, and I came from Seattle. We camped out along the river for nine days, along with Rocky Mountain friends, Dion Corkins, Alene Watson and Sandy Dickinson. Pictured at right are Suzanne, Rees and Annette on the rainy first morning of the ten day excursion. Strangely, I'm the only one with white hair.
After nine days of paddling (see pix below), we were happy to let the jet boat carry us back up the Colorado to Moab. Guess what! Again a school bus.
It turns out that I was never so smart again as I was in the second grade. All things considered, I'd rather be in the canoe. Although I'm fairly sure I was invited for my ability to fling large bundles onto the bank from the canoes, I don't mind; the company made it all worthwhile -- no, wonderful. At the end of the trip, I hated to get on the school bus to go home. Plus ça change...
Here are some photos by Suzanne.
The Green River (shown here cleverly disguised as the brown river) descends through thousands of feet of sediments to its confluence with the Colorado. Our trip was about 120 miles.
We camped out each night. Two days of rain were followed by seven of sunshine.
Rees the amateur was lucky to have an experienced paddler like Dion Corkins to keep him pointed in the right direction.
The well-appointed resort-like facilities along the waterway. There were other guests: One morning I discovered within our camp the paw prints of a cat that had been drinking from a small tributary overnight. They were four inches across.
The shade was often the most beautiful part of the trip in the middle of the days. We asked Suzanne to photograph some spectacular scenery, but there wasn't any. (That's the understated humor; an understanding smile would be good right now.)
An experimental oil well drilled decades ago produced little oil, but it provided a source of mineral water that encrusts the surrounding rocks with orange, red, yellow and brown precipitates that support a variety of tiny organisms. (Here are two of the tiny organisms inspecting the others.)
A highlight of the trip was the opportunity to visit several cliff dwellings (approx. 1,000 years old).
The jetboat awaits alongside the Colorado. Hard to see in this pic, but the water one one side appears green by contrast and on the other it's red; thence the names Green and Colorado (red) rivers, one supposes.
The school bus; a metaphor for life. It comes too soon, and just in time.
The moral of the story is that if Annette Blanchard Rose ever shows you a picture she drew of a flower pot, say something nice. It may take 50 years, but there's a huge reward. (I could explain, but it's a whole other story.)