From the journals of Buzz Holmstrom

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Camp on right at lower end Rapid - mile 247 with the last bad one above me - the Bad Rapid - Lava Cliff - that I have been looking for - nearly a thousand miles.

I had thought - once past there - my reward will begin - but now - everything ahead seems kind of empty & I find I have already had my reward - in the doing of the thing - the stars & cliffs & canyons - the roar of the rapids - the moon - the uncertainty - worry - the relief when through each one - the campfires at nite - the real respect & friendship of the river men I met & others.

This may be my last camp where the roar of a real rapid is echoed from the cliffs around & I can look at the stars & moon only through a narrow slit in the earth.

The river & Canyons have been kind to me - I think my greatest danger is ahead - that I might get swellheaded over this thing - I am going to try to keep my mouth shut about it - go back to work in the old way & have it only for a memory for myself - I have done no one any good & caused a few people great worry & suffering I know.

I think this river is not treacherous as has been said - Every rapid speaks plainly just what it is & what it will do to a person & a boat in its currents waves boils whirlpools & rocks - if only one will read & listen carefully - It demands respect - & will punish those who do not treat it properly - some places it says - go here safely if you do it just this way - & in others it says - do not go here at all with the type of boat you have - but many people will not believe what it says.

Some people have said "I conquered the Colorado River' - I don't say so - It has never been conquered - & never will I think - anyone who it allows to go through its canyons & see its wonders should feel thankful & privileged. ...

I know I have got more out of this trip by being alone than if a party was along as I have more time - especially at nite - to listen & look & think & wonder about the natural wonders rather than listen to talk of war politics & football scores.

The River probably thought - he is such a lonesome ignorant unimportant & insignificant pitiful little creature - with such a short time to live that I will let him go this time & try to teach him something - It has not been so kind to many prouder people than I. ...

I'm all in a turmoil inside - I know that if I ever expect to have anything or amount to anything I should settle down here and now. But I just naturally don't seem to be able to - my feet are itchy and I have a desire to go some place - anyplace - perhaps South America on a freighter (as an) ordinary seaman - However it seems as though any place I can think of is just a poor substitute for the River. I'm hoping before too many years I may have a good logical excuse to spend more time there - and I guess I'm not the only one who has felt that way about it.

High Country News Classifieds
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • SONORAN INSTITUTE, CEO
    Chief Executive Officer Tucson, Arizona ABOUT SONORAN INSTITUTE Since 1990, the Sonoran Institute has brought together diverse interests to successfully forge effective and enduring conservation...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...