GCRG Fall Meeting
The good thing about all that snow was that it kept
the riff-raff out. Only a hundred or so of the hard core made it up to Pack Creek Ranch in
Moab where Jane and Ken Sleight hosted our Fall Meeting.
We chose Moab for two reasons: First, to try to better connect with some of
the northern Grand Canyon boaters who feel Flagstaff is too far south. Second, to act as
sourdough starter for a sister organization centered around the upper basin tributary
On Thursday a small group of us toured the River Running Museum in Green
River with Roy Webb. He told us a lot about the boats up there and we watched a few old
videos of trips in the 1930s to 1950s. We adjourned to Rays Tavern for a
On Friday we set up our bigtop tent at Pack Creek, where Dennis Silva and
Sarah Martin fired up a fine soup kitchen for the weekend. Then it started snowing.
In the evenings we watched a few more old films and, around the fire, we
heard some great tales of yore, all perfectly true, from Ken Sleight, Cliff Rayle, Bob
Quist, Marv Jensen (remember him?) and a few others. Great stuff.
Saturday morning we held our general GCRG meeting, covered current
developments and discussed some of the touchy ones like air traffic, the Grand Canyon
Superintendency and, of course, poop disposal. We wrapped our part of the program up
around noon, and after lunch launched into the Great Unknown of the alleged new group. We
started with about a dozen of GCRGs old hands in the center of the room, giving
advice, warnings, encouragement and ideas to a room full of interested folks. Although
initially the northern folk seemed a bit timid, afraid to speak up too loudly lest they
get put in charge, one by one voices and personalities began to emerge.
Mid afternoon someone suggested it was time for the GCRG folks to move to the
back of the room and see what happened. We did, and were amazed and delighted. Tentatively
at first, then with more and more momentum, a group developed and leaders emerged. There
was denial at first, of course, Im not leadership material, I
dont have the qualifications, I dont have the time, No
one knows who I am
(Familiar ground for us!) But their momentum got the best
of them and at 3:07 (or was it 3:08?) they made it over the hump and went ballistic. There
was no turning back.
We broke for dinner. They didnt. At their first official meeting on
Sunday morning we watched from the sidelines as responsibility was delegated and accepted;
issues were discussed and dispatched in a fraction of the time it took us when we started.
Suzette DeCoster-WEISheit bravely agreed to be the first president and others signed up
for other posts soon after. They chose the name Colorado Plateau River
Guides and, for starters, based their organization around many of the same
principals and by-laws that GCRG has evolved over the years.
For us at GCRG it was exciting, rewarding and even a little emotional.
Something was born there with a potential and a direction of which we can only guess.
We encourage all of you with upper basin interests to join their organization
( see application on opposite page), to give them input and energy and be a part of the
team. Now, at their beginning, is when they need your energy the most. Get after it.