When I guide, I call any double paddled craft "a divorce boat." Both my boyfriend and I would rather be unloading a handcrafted drift boat off a custom welded trailer into this river. But we're both a little broke, a little cocky and a little wild-eyed in love with floating on water. We use the resources that come cheap and easy to spend time out here. This canoe has been sitting in my backyard abandoned and covered in weeds all autumn.

"Might as well see if it floats," Casey said this morning, pushing it over with his toe.

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Photo by Elise Otto

We paddle downstream edging the canoe off shallow bars of gravel and giving strainers of piled driftwood a wide berth. We ram the canoe's nose (sorry canoe) onto an island and Casey swings a streamer deep into the run and back towards us.

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Photo by Elise Otto