Tieton Eddy Repose

Tieton Eddy Repose
"So, this is the river." said the Rat.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Guide

A cult classic called "Repo Man" starring Emilio Estevez (Martin Sheen's son and Charlie Sheen's brother) gave Orion's whitewater raft guides one of their best quotes ever --- "A guide's life is intense. . . and sometimes under tarps. . . " The movie quote is simply, "A repo man's life is INTENSE."

In any event, guides of all stripes are survivors. Especially the serious practitioners.

They camp in tents, in vehicles, under tarps, under the stars, behind abandoned railroad cars, in broken down company vans. They dine on what is euphemistically referred to as 'roadkill' --- leftover food from trips --- and wash it down with 'animal' beer, which is otherwise known as Schmidt's, or Schmidty's, rhymes with *****, or any beer proffered them.

River guides hump heavy objects over torturous terrain, or labor up Sahara-like sand dunes with unwieldy metal boxes, in order to set up the kitchen, the communal eating area and camp in the ideal location for their guests. Day trips require offloading copious quantities of gear for anywhere from one hour to four hours of on -the-water bliss with a mere minutes of whitewater ecstasy --- assuming they can marshal their paddlers into a well-oiled drill team to be able to take, or even make it to, the big waves.

On overnight trips guides are on-call 24 hours and are doing something from dawn to dusk --- moving heavy things, chopping vegetables, worrying about boat tie-ups, boiling water, boiling more water, keeping water hot on the campfire. Guide's tasks are endless. Their responsibilities numerous. Indeed, "the crown weighs heavy..."