H20 Notes


The young man standing six feet behind me offers to buy my drink.

I’ve wandered up the river to Main Street to mail a letter at our small-town post office. Making an unplanned stop at the local coffee shop, I’ve asked for a golden latté and ginger scone. Rung up and ready to pay the shop’s one barista before she fills my order, I’ve realized my wallet must be sitting on the kitchen island back home. [...]


On the river trail yesterday, a shiny U.S. Geological Survey stream gauge was hard at work among the rocks. New since September, the gauge is likely reading discharge (quantity of flow), water temperature, and water level. This one's not online yet, but it's sure to be gathering data every fifteen minutes. [...]


"Failure is not an option," words famously uttered by Ed Harris as NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz in the 1995 movie Apollo 13, weren't really his. Instead, they were coined during the film's creative process. [...]


River guides learn to take feedback from the water itself, sensing when we've caught the right current. Slamming a boulder or rock wall or ending up on a slow boat to nowhere gives feedback in real time. It's not always learn or die––but it's certainly learn or suffer long timeouts in eddies or slave-rowing against the wind. [...]


Out my window: Mojave desert bajadas and mountains in sun and heat. In my apartment: a cool refuge. On my [...]


At five a.m. in our landlocked valley, cauliflower heads of unexpected thunderheads rise beyond the woods to [...]


(Rebecca Solnit’s brilliant take on The Loneliness of Donald Trump inspired my own bit of myth [...]