The Fall 2012 trip will be November 2 - 4. That's fifty-seven days of meal planning, map gazing, knife sharpening, guitar stringing, Bob Dylan's new record release and multiple pre-trip-meetings. The only thing that could be better is the trip itself. Especially the beginning - when the boats are loaded and the gear's shined up and ready to go and and the whole river is still in front of you.
The philosopher store owner offered me fifteen dollars for the pup, and when I turned it down, he said he didn't blame me, and went out to commandeer a seat for me, regally, in a blue pickup truck that stopped to buy gas. The two men in it were brown, lean small-townsmen headed out to a deer lease, and made room cheerfully for me and the pup. They were talking about how they'd packed the eggs and whether the milk would keep without ice and such matters, the talk of women-tended men magnifying the maleness of a three or four-day expedition away from their women. I'd talked that way myself, often, but listened now feeling different from them. They let me out at the bridge, and good wishes flew both ways through the air.
Goodbye to a River, p. 81.