At each bridge that crosses a river, there is an intersection. Folks piloting farm equipment, lifted trucks, family vans, and choppers glance down river as they cross the bridge above. Hopefully capturing a brief flash of the serenity before turning back to focus on the tar and clock. We see many of them cross as our boats float into view of the bridge before crossing under. 10 miles today, supposed to be 8 tomorrow (ends up being 13)… We're chilling.
Several days of monitoring USGS streamflow data, a pre-sunrise meet-up, and a gas station breakfast tend to be opening ceremonies of most river excursions. At the put-in (bridge), several friends strategically unload gear, help each other rig up, and begin meandering through the early remaining fog on the water. Wade the rig out, get in, position and settle in, relaxed breath, check clarity, check the rye bourbon, check the bridge for snitches ("ay nobody is anybody friend"). Smile with a gracious acceptance of anything the river may have planned. When exploring miles of river removed from civilization, it only happens to you.