*click the title to go to the 400-photo gallery or continue with my ramblings and personal pic picks*
Rumors of my impending demise notwithstanding, for seven days last October I paddled a canoe down the Green River through Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Lynn, who I worked with at Steward, was in on planning the trip with a group of folks from Wisconsin and California. It sounded like a great addition to the bucket list so I convinced them to take a chance with me. I've been canoeing and done a few rafting trips in my life, I figured I could handle that part of it...anything more would be optional icing on the adventure.
A late start and 12 hours on the road put me into Moab with only a few hours sleep before meeting up with Lynn and five strangers over the stale motel standard of a continental breakfast and really bad coffee. (Why can't they make good coffee in Utah?) Leon is the unofficial leader of the trip and has done an awesome job of coordinating the canoe rentals and everyone's contributions of gear and meal offerings. He's also a nuclear physicist at Lawrence Livermore. Coool. His brother Burke lives in Wisconsin and is to be my partner...presumably because he knows what he's doing and they're not sure what this stranger can do. Joe's an old friend of theirs from Wisconsin...turns out he makes medical equipment, including a new machine used in radiation oncology that could help me some day. Thanks, Joe! Rounding out the gang are Jon, who reminds me of David Yetman of Tucson fame; and Dan, the world traveler of the group with an affinity for kayaking in polar waters. Throw a dart at the globe and he's probably been there.