Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 3. Patrick Lawrence. On the first page of the journal I wrote, "our group of intrepid explorers depart on our epic 18 day expedition tomorrow, May 16. All of us know what we are about to do on this voyage, but noone knows if the trip will run smoothly."

I meant it to be silly when I wrote it, but some of our participants were silly and some of our ordeals were ridiculous, so this picture, written in jest, works surprisingly well. Who knew? As I sit in the van contemplating the trip and physically struggling to write as each bump is exaggerated by the old suspension and added weight of the trailer. I can't help but smile and compare it to our trip. Every long expedition is exactly like this. You are given a set of goals and a ration, and you have to do the best with what you have. The fact that all of us cite the "night of 1000 campsites" the most physically battering of all nights is one of the best affirmations that the Catawba has a multitude of multifaceted problems that no one person or group of thirteen can ever solve, we try anyway, supports that too. We truly laugh in the face of adversity and encourage others to do the same. We were dealt an interesting breed, and we all played it well.

We are nearly back now, and our job is about to begin again. Eighteen days of research on the Catawba, so we can save it for everyone who uses it and depends on it. We can save it just by the fact that it exists and is so beautiful and is forever in our memories. Eighteen days of diligence, friendship and love for this glorious river.