Wow, what excitement in the air! Old friends, a new guide season.
I raced to the guide house, hoping to see that reflector on the telephone pole, that tells me where the drive is to turn into the guide house property. I turn the corner into the woods, and I see racks and racks of boats on cars and trucks. Comfort. There wasn’t even enough space to park. There was magic in the air. Energy. Paddlers young at heart and paddlers who been on rivers all over the world. There was not an unspoken bed to be found. Old friends talking about their “off season.” Close friends talking about the last night or the weekend before. Open arms, and hugs. Shouting and singing. A new class of recruits, 45 all in all. The meeting started at nine. Standing room only. Usually everyone moans about the time and inconvenience but the excitement took over. Everyone was listening to every word. After that was boat loading, usually it is a quick load your boat and get on with your night, well tonight everyone was talking, and catching up at the trucks. They had to close up shop on us. Old people meeting new people, people just talking, listening and relaxing.
It rained all day, I mean it poured all day. I actually didn’t think their would be a fire. What a foolish thought. After boat loading I did not think a fire could possibly be started. The wood pile was drenched. Well we started a small fire. Three of us. A small one, that would be small enough for someone patio burner. Then people gathered and they protected it, fed it. Started getting it bigger and hotter. Hot enought to put one the wet timber. Throw a pallet on, put some ply wood to shield it. Get it hotter. Then when it was just the right time of the night, through the recliner on. It was blazing, the wind was whipping it around violently, like a 4o foot bull whip snapping out at people. Strangers gathered around the fire. People enjoy themselves, there was nothing not to like. Everyone shared and talked and relaxed. It was beautiful. There was no possible way a fire should of gotten lit tonight. I never should of questioned it.