Forty-five miles from my car via roads or twenty by the river, which flows through the canyon 2,500 feet below where I stand. A word of thanks to the friend who brought me and I turn to the trail. Alone. Solo.

Fear and doubt, confidence and success, strength and weakness. I have only what came with me, there are no others to draw from.

Rushing water blinds me and I bounce off a boulder. A hiss of air and softening of my raft. The hasty rip of tape. Silence.

Wavering between contentment and loneliness.

Noticing everything and nothing at all. The slap of a beaver's tail awakens me.

Whipping of a fly line and a brown trout's lazy interest in the poorly presented fly.

Rain and rustling nylon lull me to sleep.

Sputtering from the stove then peace. There will be no more hot water.

Listening to the cry of a Bald Eagle as I chase it bend to bend, leading me on.

Slaloming around fisherman, I know the confluence is close.


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