I work on a section of river that is well known to fly fishermen, here in the United States as well as in the world. The Green River is a destination that people save their vacation days for, fly from great distances to, and dream wild dreams about. The fishing here can be incredible. Clear waters, relatively easy access, and big fish.
This has not always been so.
154 years ago, Major John Westley Powell passed through this canyon as part of his historic expedition down the Green and Colorado rivers and through the Grand Canyon.
154 years ago, today to be exact.
The day began at Ashley Falls which lies under the waters of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, a few miles upstream of the current dam. And ended at Little Hole just over 7 miles downstream. It’s all written in the journals and history books.
As a very interested party to that great expedition, I am acutely aware that I am were they once were. I can only imagine that much of the river (besides the reservoir) looks the same as it did then. I can walk along the banks.and see almost the same thing they would have seen.
I rode from the dam to Little Hole several times today moving trailers. Each time looking at the waters and wishing I could see the four boats floating by. I could in my head but there was more.
Nothing physical happened. But I felt something, I felt a part of it. I made myself aware of the date, the place, and the circumstances; and history brushed against me, touched me.
I feel like i finally caught up to Major Powell and the 9 brave men that floated by with him.
Starting tomorrow, the ghosts of the past will be floating through the B and C sections of the river. I will also be looking for them again.