Where the Devil Don't Stay Essay

Submitted By jstup19
Words: 2608
Pages: 11

Where the Devil Don’t Stay I had found a new sport my sophomore year of high school, and it consumed every grain of me. The discovery of whitewater kayaking realized an addiction that playing high school football could never reach. Like a cocaine addict without a line, he slams Red Bull’s to ease the craving; my current residence in Mississippi offered few options for paddling so researching river beta online took the edge off. The lunchroom conversation could never fulfill the allotted fifty minute period, which lead to searching for more interesting distractions to consume time. Besides the post-lunch games of hackysack in the courtyard, the library computers seemed to have their pull with the vast privileges of the World Wide Web. Given, a library is a great venue for pursuing knowledge; I devoted nothing to my current scholastic studies with its use. These periods of lag time were consumed with searches of places to dip a paddle blade into; from Class II beginner runs to “wish I was that good” Class V gnar. Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah; all contained rivers waiting for me to discover, but I could only imagine vicariously through the pictures of traversing their courses. It wasn’t just the rivers themselves, scenes of complex rapids pushing roller coaster waves and problematic recirculating hydraulics that enticed me; the adventure contained in traveling to the exotic locations and the overall experience brought the fuzzy feeling of pure excitement. The climax surfaced on a day when I discovered an impressive run while browsing through a database of rivers in Colorado. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River; the picture displayed a bold paddler dropping a 20 foot multi-spout waterfall supported by car-sized boulders. Reading through the description of this class V multi-day trip winding through a 2,000 foot deep canyon found an honest anxiousness inside of me. It was a dreamy thought of spending days paddling in a remote canyon while living out of my kayak, but my current skill level of barely Class III wrote this off as a hope for the very distant future. It was February 2003. There are occasions when circumstances line up so well that the greater purpose can’t be overlooked. It seems that the longing hidden within can be so strong and entwined with desire that a higher force reaches in to fulfill it. Though at times seemingly menial and out of reach, the dreams of the heart find vectors to display their existence and ultimately, reach their goal. Some are tossed to the wind and lost, being forgotten with the troubles of yesterday. The determined, however, grab tightly and reconcile to themselves the dream instilled within. These are seen and praised, independent of the size of the audience, even if none at all. It was the beginning of October 2008, a little over a year past my move to the mountains. Labor Day weekend had consisted of an overnight rafting trip down the Colorado River with newly made friends. As we drove back to Gunnison, the Colorado sun was steadily dropping through the afternoon. We swapped stories and filled the time with lazy conversation while the yellow lines of Highway 50 quickly flashed by. We passed a sign for the Black Canyon sparking an aspiring conversation for one day paddling through its depths. Buck, although a seasoned Colorado kayaker, had yet to tag a run down the canyon and shared with me his mutual ambition of plans for an expedition. I enjoyed flirting with the thought of paddling the canyon, but because my summer had mostly consisted of working with very little paddling, I reasoned that the timing would be better next year. The Black Canyon conversation had planted a seed that took only a few days to sprout. Halfway into the following week, Buck called me with hopes of an expedition for the last weekend of September. At that moment, any doubt that had been was diminished and I was more than…