Geography Imitates Reality
We were grinding up out of the Deschutes drainage into the morning sun, transitioning from juniper to the vast sea of sage that is eastern Oregon, the Porsche engine of the new '79 VW bus humming like a tuning fork, lifting an octave to the challenge of the grade. A week long fishing trip to Idaho and Montana at the end of US 20 and a long days drive.
Above us rimrock dipped and split to reveal the lip and cut of a vast, prehistoric cataract, the drainage of a vast, shallow inland sea 6000 years ago, once lush and green, now evaporated and dried to the buzz of a katydid.
My wife was staring hard, too hard, at the endless undulations and variations of green-gray sage, all we would see if you looked at it that way, for five hours until the Snake River
"What am I supposed to do while you fish all day?"
One sentence. One measly sentence and I was transported out of time and place. I am suddenly rigid, in mid stride on a vast frozen lake, shore and safety two lifetimes away, staring down through the ice at black, unfathomable depths. Reverie, security, Poof! Shattered with the rifleshot Craaack! And then the ice sags. Don't move. Don't even breathe.

"What am I supposed to do while you fish all day?"

It had started simply enough, a museful "gee, it's been a long time since I've fished Montana. I miss my trips back there with Greg"."
"Well, lets go back then", she had said simply and with a smile. It didn't surprise me, given thought. We had, she and I, Montana history, third year of marriage, after the drill of internship. Indian Health service; small, isolated reservation on the Highline, first pregnancy and son, trips to The Park and West Yellowstone. And later camping on Silver Creek during our pre-move trips to Oregon.
"Just you and I, fishing?
"Sure, it will be fun."
So much implied. Unsaid. Understood.
Apparently not.

favorite sitter for the week; rods, waders, vests, and tubes
packed, on US 20 headed east with nothing but 12 more hours of
driving and eight more days of, what?Note: no space for the text!
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