The Daily (life)

The Daily is the name of the river stretch between Dewey Bridge or the Hittle campsite to Takeout Beach where we take day trips.  The daily, in this post, also refers to my daily life here at Splore, which I have neglected until now to write about because my life has been pretty ridiculously full of great things.

When we last left our hero (me), I had returned from my first Westwater trip in a blaze of headwind and arms so tired that I could barely lift them to brush my hair at the end of the day.  Since then, I have done another Westwater trip (that was only somewhat less windy), and spent 5 or 6 days on the Daily.  Of the 21 days that I have been working for Splore, 9 of those days have been spent on the river.  The other half have pretty much been spent getting ready to go out on the river.  For a job that I didn’t realize was a guide position, I have pretty much just hit the ground running with the training learning curve, and so far I am loving it.

the Splore house

The daily life here at Splore is pretty random.  Lately, a lot of our “workday” time has been spent cleaning up around the house and boat house.  Last December, the Splore house flooded, and since then it has been in a state of repair that every day gets closer and closer to being complete.  There are 7 people who currently live on the Splore property: myself and Alanna, a 22 year old from Vancouver, share a room at the end of the hall downstairs which we lovingly refer to as “The Penthouse.”  Next door to us is Gordie, a white haired raft guide who has been in the business longer than I have been alive.  At the other end of the hall lives Mary, who is in her late 20’s and is in charge of all the food buying and meal overseeing for the season.  Outside in the garage is Brad, our boss, who has aspirations to move into an apartment in Moab someday soon as Tim, our big boss, is anxious to turn the garage into the office so that breakfast and Monday morning conference calls can stop spatially interfering with one another.  Tim currently lives on the bed of his truck in a patch of dirt next to the boathouse, and last but not least is Mike, a raft guide in his mid-20’s who lives in a big canvas tent in the yard.  Blue, Brad’s dog who is a blue tick hound mix of some sort and whose only discernible facial expression means “But I love you!” lives here too, as does Farley, a nonchalant yellow lab who is as fiercely dedicated to Gordie as any nonchalant animal can be.  Lily, a neighborhood golden retriever, basically lives here too.  There is also The Poop Smell (caused apparently by leaky pipes in the wall and decades of hair collection in said pipes), which comes and goes, but at the moment at least is out of the building.

A workday at the Splore house consists of a morning meeting at about 9, during which we usually are still eating breakfast, and then we head out and start working on random projects around the house.  Cleaning, painting, dry walling, and organizing old life jackets and drybags are common items found on the to-do list.  At noon we break for Free Lunch, which is held every day at the basketball court downtown (downtown is a relative term out here, also, because the town itself is really only 4 or 5 miles long) and consists of a few different stew options and some pizza or sandwiches.  It isn’t put on by any one organization, but is just supported by some random community members who show up every single day at noon with free food, and it is super helpful when you are making about $1/hour as a river intern!  The afternoons are usually a lot like the mornings: just full of random projects.  If we have a trip going out the next day, we will start rigging, which consists of buying food and putting it together in a big cooler, and then getting all of the boats, boat frames, oars, and paddles together and put onto our big metal trailer.  The trailer gets pulled by a big white pickup truck named Willy, who also gets filled up with things like dry boxes and rockets (rectangular metal boxes that were originally used in the military to keep ammo dry) full of paperwork and eating utensils.

The evenings around Splore are the best part.  Everyone here is always eager to find something to do or cook up a big meal or just have a jam sesh in the kitchen.  One nice thing about living with everyone you work with is that if you are exhausted from the day, chances are so is everyone else, so going to bed at 9PM is something that everyone can get excited about.

Today is a (rare) day off for me, so hopefully I can finally do some exploring in the world-famous National Parks that this town is bordered by – or I might just take a nap!

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