This dispatch was sent by Kevin Maher and/or Sabrina Smits, Friends seasonal staff on the river this year. A huge thanks to our project supporters — including NorthWestern Energy, BLM, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and our members, for investing in our cottonwoods work.
Spending the last four months on the Missouri has been such a delight; I’ve come to realize that I’ve known few places as well in such a short amount of time. Reflecting back on the season, there are many things that have inspired and challenged me. But of all the time spent on the river I can say that the most memorable trip will always be the last one.
The weather was on our side for the final days of the season as we enjoyed 70 degree days and cloudless skies. But it wasn’t the weather alone that made for an ideal finale. We experienced the brilliant colors of the changing leaves, the total absence of mosquitoes, the solitude and the rewarding experience of seeing the dozens of thriving seedling we’ve nurtured all summer. As if this all wasn’t enough of a sendoff, we got to experience the lunar eclipse from the shores of the Missouri on our first night of the hitch.
Although, I can’t deny how excited I am to sleep in a bed again (we’ve slept some 130 nights in tents this summer), I don’t think I have come to terms yet with how much I will miss the river. Though, I suspect it won’t be too long until I find myself back in this neck of the woods.
— Sabrina Smits, Tree caretaker