Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wish Upon a Shooting Star
I took a cold bath in the Klamath River this morning. It is refreshing to be in a body of water that I know and trust. After my bath, I started my drive back up river towards Happy Camp, keeping an eye out as I went for the yellow SOTAR rafts that the JH Ranch uses. My vigilance was rewarded when, just above the class three rapid that we know as Rattlesnake, I saw Tyler Kempf a fourth year river guide who was around when I was on the river. I yelled to him, and in shocked voice he told me to meet them at Wingate. I did meet them at Wingate, but not before I took pictures of him and the other guides guiding Rattlesnake with varying degrees of success.
I had planned on heading straight to Ashland, Oregon, but Tyler convinced me to stop by the ranch, and I am glad that I did. It has been incredible to see so many old friends, but the best part by far was the trampoline. The JH Ranch is a place steeped in tradition, and one of those traditions is for random staff to congregate on the trampoline in a horse pasture, directly in front of the director’s house. We all lay there, covered in blankets, staring up at the night sky in search of satellites and shooting stars. The Ranch has the best stars of any place that I have ever been.
For the sake of not ratting out my friends, I won’t say who all was on the trampoline with me, but I will say that I felt really at home as I lay there spooning for warmth between two of my male friends. Gradually as the night wore on, people started to migrate away until it was just there were just four of us, a couple on one end of the trampoline, and a really cool girl and myself on the other side. Before, anyone gets any ideas, I was a gentleman and this is the Ranch, where people are exceptionally well behaved.
It was so nice to cuddle up next to someone under the stars and have a real conversation with them about things that actually matter. We talked about dreams, and the future, and travel, and how important it is to know and love people.