There's nothing. . .absolutely nothing. . .half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats.
-Kenneth Cole, The Wind in the Willows
Wild rivers are earth's renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans,
always chipping away, and eventually always winning.
-Richard Bangs, River God
What makes a river so restful to people is that it should have any doubt -- it is sure to get where it is going, and doesn't want to go anywhere else.
The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.
In spite the durability of rock walled canyons and the surging power of cataracting water, the wild river is a fragile thing -- the most fragile portion of the wilderness country.
-Biologist John Craighead
The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.
To trace the history of a river. . .is to trace the soul of the mind descending and arising in the body.
Boundaries don't protect rivers, people do.
-Brad Arrowsmith, landowner along the Niobrara National Scenic River, Nebraska
There's a river somewhere that flows through the lives of everyone.
. . . The time has also come to identify and preserve free-flowing stretches of our great rivers before growth and development make the beauty of the unspoiled waterway a memory.
-President Lyndon Johnson, Message on Natural Beauty
In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.
-Lao-Tzu, Chinese Philosopher (6th century B.C.)
There is no rushing a river. When you go there, you are at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats.
-Jeff Rennicke, River Days: Travels on Western Rivers, A collection of Essays
Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
-Norman MacLean, A River Runs Through It
He though his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before -- this sleek,
sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping thing with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again.
-Kenneth Grahams, The Wind in the Willows
Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.
-Henry David Thoreau
Night and day the river flows. If time is the mind of space, the River is the soul of the desert. Brave boatmen come, they go, they die, the voyage flows on forever. We are all canyoneers. We are all passengers on this little mossy ship, this delicate dory sailing round the sun that humans call the earth. Joy, shipmates, joy.
-Edward Abbey, The Hidden Canyon; A River Journey
It's hard to see al a river at once, especially in the mountains. Down on the plains, rivers run in their course as straightforward as time, channeled toward the sea. But up in the headwaters, a river isn't a point where you stand. In the beginnings of a river, you teeter on the edge of a hundred tiny watersheds where one drop of water is always tipping the balance from one stream to another.
-Lynn Noel, Voyages; Canada's Heritage Rivers
I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water. . .has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so
definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river.
Many a time I have merely closed my eyes at the end of yet another trouble some day and soaked my bruised psyche in wild water, rivers remembered and rivers imagined. Rivers course through my dreams, rivers cold and fast, rivers well known and rivers nameless, rivers that seem like ribbons of blue water twisting through wide valleys, narrow rivers folded in layers of darkening shadows, rivers that have eroded down deep into the
mountain's belly, sculpted the land, peeled back the planet's history exposing the texture of time itself
The face of the river, in time, became a wonderful book. . .which told us mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it had uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, fir it had a new story to tell every day.
-Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
Show me an adventure and I'll show you a lack of preparation
-Ronald Amundsen, Arctic explorer
God helps them that help themselves.
-Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
About the only thing I had learned about canoeing was to head into the part of the rapids that seemed to be moving the fastest, where the most white water was.
-James Dickley, Deliverance
Never travel far without a rope! And one that is long and strong and light. . .[it] may be a help in many needs.
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
You do not know how long you are in a river when the current moves swiftly. It seems a long time and it may be very short.
-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
Man marks the earth with ruin -- his control stops with shore.
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances, Of moving accidents by flood and field, Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' the imminent deadly breach.
-William Shakespeare, Othello
Bogart: How'd you like it?
Hepburn: Like it?
Bogart: Whitewater rapids!
Hepburn: I never dreamed. . .
Bogart: I don't blame you for being scared -- not one bit. Nobody with good sense ain't scare of whitewater.
Hepburn: I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating.
-The African Queen