Everyone knows I work for a local whitewater outfitter and spend many of my weekends, on the Upper Gorge of the Lehigh River. I enjoy my part-time career. No, I love it. I love the coworkers, their attitudes and the organization as a whole is progressive and innovative. There are all type of people, from people who work on the Wall St., to those people who choose to live life like a gypse. Hoping from river to river like one of Kerouac’s characters would hope from train to train. Many of them enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, splunkening, having a good time, etc…However, their greatest characteristic most of all is that they are very kind. They accept you for who you are, and what you are not. And, if your willing to learn they are will to teach. The will rescue you and show you what you did wrong. It is a beautifull learning experience. It is recprical, the student becomes the teacher. Those who have learned it, are simply and happily are willing pass it along to those who haven’t yet.
Saturday and Sunday are all business. Working hard at the center making sure guest are happy and well served. I am amazed how well oil the operations are completed. As river guide we are only on the center grounds for pick up and drop off, our work station is the Gorge and the rapids of the river. The river is all about a good time and safety is a priority. Hence the safety trainings that start in March and go all season long. But Friday night, we have our “Guide meeting” and boat loadings. We go over last weekends results, accidents and intreresting fun facts about the area. From the indeginous wild life to the history of the area. We talk about this weekends guests, the river levels and new potential hazards. We talk about happenings on the river, even people’s accomplishments in the sport of whitewater. Plus we review old thing we forgot and new things that are constantly changing. And we end it with the menu of the guide meal for Saturday night, the raffle, the trivia question with prize and of course a clean, ok somewhat clean joke. I did I mention there were themes on busy Dam release weeekend at the guide house?
Then we go load our boats and prepair our gear for the weekend. Making sure all the trucks are properly loaded, our gear is where it should be and that everyone is accounted for the weekend. After that, that is where there is so much eanred and privilaged fun; bonefires, games of skill, games of luck and of course people playing the guitar. And of course music and story telling was just an ear shot away. A truely magical place that could go on all night if it was not for the self-imposed quiet hours and montiors. You never know what you will see, what you will learn. So much energy you can almost strike sparks anywhere. Old friends reliving old stories. Old meeting new, new meeting newer and it goes on.