This year, Gauley is a Little Diff. Part II
Freedom is often taken for granted we the people are able to move about in this country and explore the possibilities of what we can do and learn what it is we're are here for. I guess this is the meaning of life: to ask questions.
The river is going to release tomorrow and the campground I am staying at is piling up with cars showing plates from all over the country. There are more species of bugs here than anywhere in the world and I learned if you smear a firefly on your friends clothes, they glow for a few seconds. Last night, I witnessed a naked man at the bar Iím working at get chased by a naked woman. The details are a bit hazy after the Jager-bombs but the memory is clear. I laughed harder than I have ever before in my life
We spent the day at Summersville Lake floating on logs and climbing the cliffs that jut straight from the waterís edge. The water was such a perfect temperature as was the company. It is amazing being on the road for many reasons. Perhaps the best aspect is the people you meet while travelling. Granted, I have been patroning ski resorts and whitewater destinations so I run into a bunch of the same crowd. We are all like the lost boys with a common wish. We love the feeling of flying and strengthen our bodies so we can get that rush.
I am going to play harder on the river tomorrow than ever before. I have trained my body with exercise and a balanced diet, prepared my mind with conversation and company, and finally dried my booties out. The dollar store here sells sardines for 60 cents and I usually eat three or four cans while on the water. I wonder how many calories I burn while dodging undercuts and chasing swimmers from rafts.
The restaurant I am working in is feeling better and better every day however, it is far from where it could be. The owner is a bright and talented woman with as much optimism as a Muppet. It is a real pleasure working for her. The establishment is in its first year of operation and we are working tirelessly to make service smoother than ever. The hardest part for me is speaking softly while literally following the other cooks around the kitchen with a towel and a broom. Carelessness for hygiene antagonizes my sense of spirit but teaching quells the soul. I have found a balance in myself while cleaning up after the hurricanes of WV and can find peace in the dish pit (even though itís a 3 sink with a max water pressure of 2lbs).
I love the crickets and the frogs at night here. I love the cool evenings and the smell of burning elm. Excitement is in the air as campers chit-chat about past-river experiences and await the morning where they will experience the Gauley for the first time. Tomorrow the water will come; I will play hard and stay sober for my skills are needed here in the real world. Thank you WV for providing me with play, leisure and opportunity in the land where indifference is the difference. Xoxo c y-all on the water.