The River At Dawn

That Night

After we finally get our thoughts together and get out of the car we prepare the back of the vehicle for sleeping. The first thing we have to do is get all our gear in the front two seats. Backpacks, fly rods – sometimes we prep our fly rods the night before – grocery bags from the gas station, etc.

I’ve got two huge gray tubs that I bought at Wal-Mart for the very purpose of lugging my dry goods and my wet goods. The dry goods tub stays in my car at all times and has everything that I need for any emergency.

MSR WhisperLite Stove

MSR Fuel Canister filled with white gas

Backpackers Pantry Lasagna

Lexan spoons

Peanut Butter

Nature’s Valley Oats & Honey Bars

Moonstone sleeping bag

North Face Tent (2 person)

Nalgene water bottles

Mountain Dew





The wet goods box usually stays in my car as well, but sometimes comes out so I can dry everything out. It holds my waders and my fly fishing bag and gear. Also anything that I think might leak. These two tubs come out of the back seat and spend the night on the ground at the back of my car. While all of this is going on, Peter always ends up struggling for way too long trying to get the back seat to lie down.

It’s split down the middle and you have to lay down each side separately. The drivers side (my side) takes about 2 seconds to lay down flat. The passenger side sticks sometimes because the little tab that you have to pull out always gets wedged in between the cushions and it basically takes an act of God to get it out.

Or just the owner of the car.

I swear I’m not going to bed until I get this thing out. Peter says, now violently ripping at the seats.

Dude, it’s not that hard, why can’t you ever get this?

In the darkness of the night sky, with no one around to hear, things like that become much funnier. The birds are asleep, the treetops rustling quietly, the moonlight and the starts just hanging above the black sky. The mighty waters of the White River flowing steadily just beyond the nearby trees; and me and Peter fighting my car to get the seats down.

With the seats finally laid flat and the sleeping bags opened and ready, side by side in the back of the 4-Runner, Peter and I take a seat, legs dangling out the back of the car. We usually talk about life, dreams, struggles, and recent revelations, it’s always different, but it’s always similar.

We each light a Backwood, as if required to do so before speaking,

Ok dude, I had the greatest idea the other day. I say as I inhale the first drag.

Ok? Says Peter out of the side of his mouth while still trying to light his cigar in the steady nighttime breeze.

We need to do something awesome. I mean, like seriously for real – huge and awesome.

What’ve you got in mind?

It’s a pilgrimage. It’s a dream. It’s fierce and it’s most definitely passionate.

Excellent. What?

This Thanksgiving break we’re totally going to ditch our families and take off for the revival of a lifetime. We’ll completely forget all this crap that’s left behind and do something awesome and real. So many people BS so much about these big huge plans and dreams and they never do any of it, so we’ve got to make it happen for all those people who lose heart and get distracted and forget their dreams and passions.

Dude, tell me.

Ok, it’s the coolest place on Earth. This is the spot where the most unbelievable things ever to take place on the Earth happened. This is where the entire basis of our faith comes from…

Peter takes his cigar out in anticipation…

The Sea of Galilee.

The Sea of Galilee.

Dude, it’s where Jesus walked on water. It’s where he calmed the storms. It’s totally where he broke the bread and fish to feed the multitudes. And we’re going.


It just came to me the other day.

Ok, sweet, we’re really gonna do this. We can’t tell anyone about it cause then it won’t happen – we’ve gotta keep the excitement alive.



We sit there taking in the nature, the sounds, and the last of our Backwoods. Thinking, dreaming, planning. We sit on the back of my car in total and complete peaceful excitement just knowing what’s to come in the morning and over the break.

The morning fog on the river. It’s a miracle the few eyes in this world have gazed upon.

The morning, dawn on the White River.

As we crush out our cigars and settle into our sleeping bags for the short night ahead of us, we talk a little about the morning. What time we should get up, what we’re going to fish with tomorrow, etc. Before we wind down we say goodnight and roll over, backs to each other. From then on we dream until morning, half asleep, half awake, making sure we don’t miss the sunrise.

Goodnight dude.


Dude, the Sea of Galilee.

The Sea of Galilee.