Bodies lay in this river. Their stories loom in the mouths and hearts of those who knew them, of those who know this river. Safety Institutes have been founded because of this water, humans desperately seeking to reverse what has happened here. Years pass without incident, without loss. Then it happens again.
And yet this water intrigues us. Satisfaction is etched into rocks and those that understand this water. For paddlers who dance toe to toe with this reluctant partner, self is buried within it's changes of flow, with its frenzied attempt to obey gravity.
Scarred rock is pounded by confused water. The water line towers above the head of paddlers during the arid summer, humbling the sports greatest. It waits here. Waiting for someone to make it beautiful. Waiting for someone to provide it momentary grace and reason. It does not contain it itself. It has been sullied, tainted by manifest destiny. But for a few mercurial moments, as someone edges and slips through its vastness, it makes sense again, only moments later to fall back into misery.
A river shouldn't look like this. Cracked boulders lie, twisted unnaturally, awkward and dangerous, facing all directions. They protrude out, slowly creeping up the walls of this gutter.
Each vortex, each differential current whispers an untold story: A swim, a perfect line, terror, a moment of exploration. The explosions of white speak words of destruction for the natural movement of this water. It is considered beautiful in its own twisted, derisive way, but only to a few. The few people looking for madness, looking to be caught off guard. People who hope for unwavering punishment. They wait. They focus their eyes on high water lines. They want to laugh at this waters course, its broken state as it makes an effort to kill them.
A word: I wrote this entry while on the MF Salmon, Stephen Forster's tragedy was unbeknownst to me. This is not in reaction to that event. I send out compassion to B-real and all those on the rescue and my condolences to those who were close to him. There is a link to b-reals writeup in the articles section.