Day 3 of 4 on a late season Gates of Lodore trip during mass amounts of rainfall leftover from the recent Pacific hurricane that pushed up thru AZ to UT&CO. There were mere minutes of rain-free time over the entire trip. We were prepared for the cold and rain, but it was relentlessly cold and wet. My passenger and I had managed to get a good mile or more ahead the rest of our crew in Whirlpool Canyon. We weren't carrying the fire pan so we thought getting to camp early wouldn't gain us much, but the rowing helped keep us warm. As we got closer to the Jones Hole camp sites we notice boats. My initial reaction was - there really are other people just as crazy as us to be out in this cold Oct mess.
It would give our crew time to catch up so we said why not go say hello to fellow boaters ....if we see movement down by their boats. We got closer and saw people waving. We were greeted by more than 10 people (including one mooning). Before we got close enough to tie up we had beers tossed to us! We could tell they were having a good time(we later found out it was their layover day), and they could tell we were cold. Within seconds of setting foot on the beach we were offered a heaping plate of chili and a spot by their toasty fire. My passenger was dying to fish in Jones creek, and without hesitation got the go-ahead to tromp thru their camp to the creek to fish. While I'm scarfing down my plate of chili by the fire one of our boats finally caught up. They got the same greeting and a plate of chili was insisted upon them as well. Seconds later we all were handed a tasty hot cocoa/white russian. We passed around some good rum I brought and exchanged lots of good pleasantries while waiting for our final boat. Our final boat showed, tied up, got warm for a few, and then we were on our way. There were several folks joking about we can't leave, and should just join their party. It sounded really tempting, but we departed to get further down the river as we knew there was still the flattest slowest water left to go on day 4.
I wouldn't by any means say this is an anomaly. For the most part river people are kind. To our group though, it was just an amazing moment! We conversed about their hospitality over and over. It's not like they went insanely above and beyond. They were just great people having a great time and were willing to open their arms to us. With the polarizing world we live in being so dark and disconnecting I very much welcome more of this kind of hospitality. It makes me feel really good that there are still great people out there!
And to all of that party at Jones Hole, I say - Thank You Very Much! You made our trip so much more memorable.