My retired life is about capturing and conquering long forgotten dreams .
I have painted my mailbox four times. My tires have the proper air, no more, no less. The novel is written, the family tree is prepared. Everything humanly possible is neatly, precisely labeled and snugged away in my little Tulsa house. Where are the days when I soared over the pole vault bar, parachuted by the jagged cliffs into Montana forest fires, hurled out of a raft into a raging river in Honduras and leaped to catch the air, hand gliding high in the Sawtooths? Checking and sorting the mail ain’t doing it for me.
Yes, this is the summer. This is the August of “THE BIG ROW”.
My name is Steve Badraun, A fourth generation North Idaho native son who has lived the summer days moving under the blue sky of Kalispell Bay. I was the little toe head boy with loaded sand bucket who damned up the streams to build ships and bridges on the white beach. I was the youthful shirtless tanned one, who trolled the beaches for a new weekend girlfriend in my family’s snazzy fourteen foot Crestliner. I became the man who found solitary peace at dawn watching the fog burn away from this magic water.
I had charted the big row twelve years ago for another time. It would be the entire shoreline of the lower and upper, seventy miles, six days. Nothing pretty, nothing fancy, just me alone in an old twelve foot aluminum boat with wooden oars. It would be an odyssey, not a race, a sort of spiritual thing, a journey of reflection. After all, is there any other way to feel the silent beauty of my ancestral place watching the morning light seep over Gunsight Ridge as the water laps against my bow? It is time.
So I hope that you will follow me on my journey, getting ready, shoving off and laughing with me as I become certain I am completely insane, wet and exhausted through the fourth day on choppy water and driving rain. I will post my thoughts as I check off the marks on my map. Come along with me?
Steve Badraun grew up every summer on Priest LakeNow, each August, he gathers with his former wife Jane, his children and grandchildren at their seventy five year old family home on Kalispell Bay. He lives and writes from his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
AS THE LAKE CHURNS and facebook.com/PriestLake will follow Steve in this adventure. TO BE CONTINUED..
NEW ! Steve Badraun's "The Big Row" Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheBigRow