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The Gearboat Chronicles

Planning trips to get through winter

Two degrees on the thermometer outside my kitchen window yesterday morning. Two. They seemed lonely, and I wanted them to have friends. About 78 more pals to keep them company.

So I started planning my first river trip of the year. Sure, the water in my backyard is frozen from where I drained my woodfire hot tub, but those two degrees will be getting friends soon enough, the ice will thaw, the water will eke into the creek and hook up with the Wallowa River, then mingle with the Minam River and eventually hook up with the Grande Ronde. When that happens it sounds mighty nice to be floating on it for another birthday fishing float on the Grande Ronde in March. So I’ll round up the friends and get this party started.

I went looking for a photo in my computer, but got stalled on a set of pictures from a Salmon River trip last summer. This one is in a yard in Clarkston, Idaho, on the way to pick up guests. That’s helpful of the person to advertise the hours of the store down the road. Real thoughtful.

And this one. A pretty picture of a weed. For some reason that appeals to me. This winter weather is making me so nostalgic for warm temperatures that I’m gazing fondly at snapshots of weeds. Hm.

Even making whipped cream with a whisk looks like fun right now. A small detail, but in the background there you can see a pair of Chaco sandals, kicked off in the sand. And that looks real good to me about now with two degrees on the thermometer – warm sand, wearing shorts, no need to put on the insulated boots to go outside and fetch a load of firewood after brushing the snow off it first . . . hurry up, summertime. I’ve looked at that snowman in the yard long enough.

So which rafting trip are you making plans for? Hells Canyon, The Salmon River, or the Grande Ronde River