Got my boat wet. It's been a while. Just back from a San Juan, (trib to the Colorado). Sustained high water for that drainage. Lot's of debris and just how many flooded community sewerage lagoons or floated septic tanks? Had a great time w/ some old friends, (even the new guy seems like an old friend now).
River provided a few things I needed to recall. Immediate comfort was brought to me, just to sit in my boat and listen to it. Needed that more than I admitted to myself. River allowed me to imagine I was never absent.
I hadn't been in the 4-Corners area for a long time. Every prior visit was usually based on a whirl-wind type tour from home to a Launch-site, or from the De-rig site to return home. This time I promised myself a few extra days of travel time.
It didn't quite work out that way. I planned to spend a few days in "Valley of the Gods", north of Bluff and Mexican Hat, UT, before driving the Moki Cut up to Cedar Ridge. The intention was to drive through a loop so to scout how light might play in the valley, and to find a convenient camp.
During the scout, I saw what appeared to be a large dog silhouetted on a distant ridge. So much for my my ability to estimate distances in such a landscape. The Dog was at my feet in no time at all.
Barely 12" tall at his shoulder, and barely 14#'s when I dared to pick up a very dehydrated / emaciated puppy. He sure was happy to see me. I wasn't so sure. I had my 40# bitch companion w/ me, and she was considerably upset.
Couldn't help myself. Had to give the dog water, and share what food I carried. A minute or so later, I knew I had a new friend, with whom, I'd be happy to share my life. ("Blue", wasn't so sure, but she is coming around).
Sure, intention was only to load him up in the PU just to transport him to the nearest shelter along my way. Look at a map of the intended route, and you'll see there weren't any shelters open along the way. OK, I got sucker punched by the Gods.
He's ~3mos old. The water and food over the last few days has done quite a bit for his general appearance, (ribs and pelvis aren't protruding as badly). Made the mistake of naming him.
"Diyinii", (D, pronounced more like a "t"; each single "i" as in "sit"; the "y" a kinda like a gutteral space, and the last "ii's" as in "see". Granted, I only found the name in a old 1953 Navaho / English dictionary. It translates to something like, "he who is holy, or divine one".
Granted, that's a bit much for me. Just wanted to call him "abandoned dog", but to play on the dog / god thing, and location of where we met. That said, making his acquaintance has done "interesting" things for Blue and I.
But, I recall an old friend. That old friend of mine, offered his raft, associated gear, and best advice to allow me to make my first Grand Canyon raft trip, supporting my supervisor and his friend's kayaker permit. (Even back then I was advised not to go left in Bed-rock, Joe wasn't surprised to learn I did anyway). A few of the "old-friends" were on the recent river trip. We took time to relate a few stories.
Those folks, and my old friend, never fail to regale me to other's, should they chose to introduce me at all, as the fellow they saw sitting on a rock on a river. They thought it a bit odd to find me sitting on the very same rock a year later. I suppose they thought I really needed some help, and broke the eddy line to introduce themselves. Little did I realize....
Once back home from this recent San Juan trip, I worried that the dog, myself, neighbors I might have to introduce the dog could possibly have trouble w/ pup's name. I asked the widow of my best friend if I could just call the pup "Joe", or Chann'l'ock, She's been so gracious.
Edward Waters - September 26, 2013