Well it seems we survived another foray down to Papa Russo’s trailer by the river. The forecast said rain, so only 25 or so showed up, as opposed to the usual 50+ crowd of aging hipsters. Tent city was considerably smaller, which meant this year we got to nab the primo spot, the one down river from the camp fire in its own little clearing: Quiet, away from the snoring, but close enough to hear when someone else has already gotten up and tended to the fire.

As usual, I ended up not floating this year. I don’t know why I never go on the float. I spent my summer in Denali rafting every weekend… But that was work, and I’ve been overworked lately. The opportunity to just sit there and do nothing for 5+ hours outweighed any benefit that might have been gained by rowing a boat.

There is just something about the quiet out there, the sound of the river and the birds, the clean air… it really helps melt the stress away. I return home with the seemingly contradictory sensations of being hungover and refreshed at the same time – but for that brief period, all is right with the world.

Judy Schwartz Haley


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