River

While traveling 7+ hours North to Sandpoint Idaho I stumbled across River by Ibeyi via All Songs Considered.  The first listen just had me bobbing my head and feeling amazing – but the second play had me deep into the lyrics.  Keeping with my musical post theme, this song and its lyrics connected on many levels.


 

Carry away my old leaves
Let me baptize my soul with the help of your waters
Sink my pains and complains
Let the river take them, river drown them
My ego and my blame
Let me baptize my soul with the help of your waters
Those all means so ashamed
Let the river take them, river drown them

I don’t sleep well on the nights before a road trip.  Anticipation takes a hold of my mind before I lay down to sleep, and it acts as a strong and usually early wake up call.  Honestly I struggled with getting excited for this trip.  It was to be the 2nd Crawford “Mancamp” – and coming on the heels of another family reunion trip less than two weeks ago I was feeling the extended family over dose.

Regardless, my mind woke me up around 4am, and I set the course North and East for a long drive to connect with my tribe.  To spice up the travel, I opted for a route less traveled, and one that I had never been down through some remote stretches of the John Day country.

Dodging deer while driving through winding canyons washed away any lingering sleepiness that was in my head.  And as night was slowly giving up its battle to dawn, I found myself standing in the John Day River again.

 

Amazingly on this morning the skies were blue – somehow spared from the smoke of two large fires burning nearby.  Before I could make my first cast, I just stood and took in the beauty of this remote spot, and let the river  “Sink my pains and complains” about this trip.  And the river did just that, quickly on the first cast.


x-marks the spot to get bent

The morning was magical.  Although I can count on my hands how many days I have spent on the John Day, each day stands vividly in my mind, and each time the water helps me in so many ways.


 

I rode the high of those 90 minutes in the river all the way up to Idaho.  The blue skies gave way to smoke, but my mind was at ease and I was ready to be in the now with my family.

And this is the part of the post that I knew I would stumble on.  You see the first Crawford Manamp, two years ago, was initially born out of a desire to re-create some trips my dad, brother and I did back in the day.  While planning that first trip though, I really wanted to invite my uncle – dad’s brother Chuck along.

You see, about a year before the first Mancamp, all of us Crawford guys had stood around a bed while Chuck’s son, my cousin Peter, passed away after a battle with cancer.

Pete was a year older than me.  He loved adventure and the outdoors and had an infectious personality that really made any dull family gathering unpredictable and fun.

I miss Pete.  And as I write those words, it is obvious to me now that this trip taking place on the same date, four years after we had stood around that bed was both healing and part of my reluctance for going on the trip.

If anything though, Pete’s passing is a daily reminder for me that you do not know how many days you have left to bask in a river – or to share an experience with family you don’t get to see enough.  That softens me and my ego.. it gently reminds me to live the now, and love those in your life.

Reminded, and humbled, my mind was open now to experience some fun with my Dad, Brother, Uncle, Peter’s son Ethan, cousin Simon, and Ethan’s dad Dave.  And it was good that my mind and body were ready, because much fun was had amidst the smokey skies of Northern Idaho.


sailing on “Olga” with Captain Chuck, Simon and Ethan

The first day I had the joy of going sailing with my uncle on Lake Pend Oreille.  At first the winds were not cooperating, but after getting out of a small bay, nature fired up its bellows and we were clipping along at 6kn – and the keel was pushing over to 30 degrees periodically.

My Uncle was hooting and hollering.  It was so amazing to see him doing what he loves.  I lost count of the number of times he said how special it was to share his boat and that day with me and the boys.  I would just nod each time because I knew very well just how special it was.

That night, Dave who is on the verge of taking his home brewing to the next level, gave us a great beer tasting/education from various Idaho breweries.  This was Dave’s first Mancamp, and just like other adventures I have already been on with him, he once again brought so much fun ( and beer ) to the experience.


Seriously, those are mini red party cups, not full sized 🙂

We spent the balance of the weekend enjoying each others company and doing the things we love to do together.  We tied some flies, caught some bass, sliced some golf balls, drank some beer, hiked mountains and told countless bad jokes.

This is my tribe, these are my men, and I loved spending the weekend with them.


Reading finance periodicals and tying flies?


Brothers and Brothers.  Todd, myself, Chuck and Dad on top of Schweitzer

Once again though, the anticipation of the drive back to Bend shook me awake at 3am on Sunday morning.  I had said goodbyes the prior evening, and I knew my mind wouldn’t let me ease back to sleep.

So I pointed the truck Southbound and headed back to the river.  This time though I had nothing for the river to wash away.  No pains, no complaints, just grins and giggles.  Oh and dozens of more little bass.

5 thoughts on “River

    1. I do not know Cody Crawford. My dad grew up in Spokane and that is where my uncle and some of the clan still lives. The rest of us are scattered across Cascadia now.

      That was my first trip to Sandpoint, I really liked it, and would love to go back and ski 🙂

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About Timmy Crawford

I reside in lovely Bend, Oregon with my wife and two girls, and of course the requisite two mutts. By day I am an Automattician, and by night and on the weekends... I keep it real.