It varies. You’d be surprised.
Well, I never expected this little rafting forum to go beyond boating stories, but friends, I’ve got a game-changer here. Yessirree, I’m about to pass on some pure, un-cut, grade A insight that’s already made my life easier.
Sounds like I’m selling Tupperware or 5 Steps To A Better Whatever. But no. This is something else. Something marvelous. It’s the answer.
Or two answers, really. But they work for nearly all occasions. I learned them from two kayak instructors, Andy and Joanne from Wet Planet.
River guides are asked questions. And that’s good. Ask away. That’s what we’re there for. But every now and again – I’ll speak for myself here, and leave others out of it – every once in a while I simply don’t know. Or I’m not sure. And I’ll fess up. There are some stretches of river where I wish I did, but I just don’t know for certain sure how deep it is.
And that’s when these magic responses from Andy and Joanne really shine. Turns out you can sidle around not knowing by deploying one, or both, of these handy comments.
Ready? Here’s the first one:
So simple. So succinct. So vague, and yet so exact. And you can follow it up with this gem:
“You’d be surprised.”
Let’s try it out, shall we. The last trip I was on, I was asked how big sturgeon get. I’ve personally seen an 11-footer come up from the depths of the Snake River, and heard accounts or seen pictures of much bigger monsters. But offhand, I just don’t know what the record size for a sturgeon is.
“You’d be surprised,” works well in this case. I’d be surprised myself, since I don’t know the answer.
I often get asked how heavy the gearboat is when fully loaded. Frankly, I don’t even want to guess, as it wouldn’t make it any easier to row and I’m happier in the dark. But in this case I’d go with the combo of, “It varies . . . you’d be surprised.”
Try it out yourself. Next time you’re at work and all eyes around the conference table turn to you, expecting an answer on when the Johnson account will be finalized or what the quarterly predictions indicate, you can at least buy some time with those two handy answers.
These here photos, for your viewing pleasure, show the view from Suicide Point on the Snake, across from Hominy Bar. A nice short hike with big, expansive views. How long does the hike take? Well, it varies.
Other photo shows one of the pictographs on a rock face just downstream from Granite Creek, also on the Snake River. I was asked how old they are. I could have given the range in thousands of years on estimates on when they may have been made, but it just seemed easier to respond truthfully that you’d be surprised.