In the dream I am minding my own business in my kayak, running the mightly Nolichucky River. We are floating in a calm green pool when one of the guides on the NOC trip that I'm with asks if I want to switch boats for a while. He's bulky like the guide we knew as Monk, but otherwise not familiar. I say OK, and he gets in my kayak, and I get in the back of the raft. Then he is gone with my kayak, don't know where I went.
In the raft I have two customers, looks like a husband and wife. They are friendly enough, and both overweight. The raft has a lot of water in it, which makes it heavy. I am irritated at the guide who gave me a raft full of water and disappeared with my kayak. At the very least he could have emptied the water. There is no bucket to bail it out with.
We float on down and go to shore at the first beach to turn the small raft over and empty out the water, but there is a flowering tree on the beach and small bees buzzing all around. The beach is crawling with them. I am allergic to bees, and so I get in the water and start to gradually swim away from shore, pulling the raft with me. I explain to my customers that I'm allergic, so I won't risk being on that beach. We continue with the raft heavy with water. We are far behind our river trip, and I am unable to move the raft fast enough to keep up or catch up. I am unwilling to whip my two passengers to paddle the water-laden boat to catch up, so we float along looking for another place to empty out.
We find a place to empty where the river takes a sharp right bend around a white granite cliff on the right with buildings on top. Our river trip is now completely out of view. We stop and climb up the granite cliff. There's a hotel on top, and I recognize it. The couple is staying at another hotel about a mile up the road. We check out the displays and look around, then decide to go back to the boat. We can't find the way we came up. We wander along the cliff edge looking for a way down. At one point we got low enough to see where our raft is parked, but we are still high on a cliff and the water at the bottom is obviously too shallow to jump. The couple retreats back to higher ground while I find a way to climb down to the water. Our group is certainly well downstream by now, unless they noticed us missing and stopped to wait.
I wake up.
Sorting the dream now awake:
This dream doesn't have a lot of emotional ooomph behind it except in my feeling that it was a mistake to give up my kayak for a raft. I was talking with an old guiding buddy yesterday (Matt who lives in Ecuador) and describing the last time I actually guided a paddle raft -- on the Salt River two springs ago. I was terribly sore for a week afterward. Paddle raft guiding requires that you sit kind of sideways and twist to steer the boat, and it is not for anyone with a bad back. So I have no desire to guide paddle rafts anymore, even though I did it for 12+ seasons. It is hard to imagine that I did it for so long, and no surprise that it revisited a dream. Guiding is a strenuous form of adult care-taking for a very small paycheck. A raft full of water is an awkward burden, a handicap, a pain in the ass. Kayaking is freedom and independence. Message: hang onto my freedom and independence, and don't trade it out for something I already know I don't want to do anymore.
When a raft is light, a skilled guide can move it along at a pretty good pace without the help of the passengers. But when it is full of water, you can barely move it at all. When I was a guide I always carried a bucket because it is often difficult to find a place where it is safe enough for your customers to get out. Part of my irritation was not having the tool that I wanted.
The couple in the raft I think were dream versions of Bo and Peter, bodacia being a new lj friend whose web site I checked out yesterday.
In the dream I have the usual amount of anxiety about being separated from the group. When running rivers, especially on commercial trips, it is important to stay together. This river was easy and I had no worries about getting my own boat down it, but I didn't want my group to worry. I was also unwilling to force my two passengers to move faster than they normally would, and they were not concerned at all about being separated from the group, so we lagged.
The bees were a real threat to me. I am not the individual who panics when I might get stung, and I have not ever had an anaphylactic reaction, but I have had several general reactions (hives all over) to bees and ants. My doctor friends tell me I do need to be careful, and one set me up with some fresh epi to carry. I also carry benadryl in the summer when there are a lot of bees around. I move slowly and carefully. It is getting to be bee season again, downhill from where I live, at least. There are very few bees in Flagstaff, but I will take the reminder that I need to get out my bee kit and start carrying it.
On the Chattooga River where I worked the most, the yellowjackets would cut out small discs of turkey from the lunch spread, and attempt fly off. Sometimes they would cut too large a disc to fly with. Other times they would just barely be able to get off the ground with their take. Yellow jackets are carnivorous.
The granite cliff with the hotel on top resembled the granite cliff at Canyon Creek where we camped on my most recent Salt River adventure. The granite stone is beautiful, white and rounded and showing signs of the water that shaped it, but on closer observation showing its components of white, gray, black, beige and sometimes pink crystals. Instead of a hotel on top, our camp was on top. Boat were parked at the bottom and we had to hand our gear up and down the cliff, and to climb creatively to get where we were going.
The Nolichucky river didn't look much like itself after the beginning of the dream. The rock in the Noli is metamorphic (schist); dark gray with swirling plasticized bands lighter rock and some areas with low grade jade imbedded. In my dreams all rivers are subject to change into any other rivers....the river itself is the big symbol.....the flow, the way that we get where we are going........the water that we immerse in.........the river to me is spirit, it is power, it is essential to me. This river remained clear, green and warm--a proper summer river in the southeast.