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Josh probing

On Friday, August 2nd, we lost Josh Lowry, a kayaking legend. I make that claim because writing about notable whitewater personalities is my job, and Josh’s story produced perhaps the best profile I’ve ever written. But my professional opinion doesn’t meaningfully identify Josh as a legend, his life’s actions took care of that.

This past winter, I spent a week with Josh at his rafting company in Futaleufu, Chile. His staff of guides, all three of them, had found their way to Josh and his world of idealistic simplicity through various means, but looking back, it was a whitewater pilgrimage for them all. Working for Josh wasn’t a job as much as an apprenticeship in the art of river gypsy, under the master. These young boatmen had no delusions of squirreling away money through guiding. They were there to paddle, to integrate into the relaxed pace of rural Chile, practice their Spanish, sleep in the backyard and eat raspberries off the bush for breakfast—to be Lowry-ites. On days off, they’d go kayaking with their esteemed boss, still one of the guys (but also THE guy) at 61-years young. Their loyalty towards Josh spoke volumes.

When a young traveler stopped by the office wanting a raft trip but having no money to pay for one, Josh took him down his beloved Futaleufu anyway. He simply asked for some help around the property, and called it a trade. He showed the young man how to dig an efficient irrigation trench for a new garden plot. Later, we all transported posts to Josh’s undeveloped riverside property. We placed those posts in a barn that Josh had built with beams acquired in another trade, for his retired ambulance shuttle rig. He’d procured the ambulance, somehow, from a band of true Patagonian gypsies.

This was the flow of Josh Lowry’s life, always seeking a symbiotic solution through his ascetic existence, in harmony with the seasons, in tune with the river. “I am a minimalist, both in life and paddling,” he once told me. With that, I couldn’t help chuckling at the recollection of our West Clear Creek trip, and Josh’s ancient Noah Jeti kayak with stripped seat bolts, his thread-bare wetsuit, his leaky paddling jacket. My wife, Lisa, and I wore drysuits, and even we were cold. Not surprisingly, Josh was always the first to get the fire going at camp. That trip was so epic, hard, and beautiful, so perfect, that I’ll never go back. Yet it was just one small adventure in Josh Lowry’s ledger of “trips of a lifetime.”
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He was the first to run Mexico’s classic Agua Azul and Chile’s renowned Baker. His Chilean road trips of 1994 (with John Foss and Clay Wright) and 1995 (with Arnd Schaeftlein, Bernd Sommer, Manu Arnu, Olli Grau, and Dave Kashinski) included many other exploratories in lands that were unknown to the whitewater world, the stuff of dreams. There were also countless trips down Grand Canyon, many summers on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, and adventurous jungle romps in southern Mexico. His whitewater Opus was the Rio Pascua. The river has only attracted a couple expeditions since Lowry’s 1999 descent because it is logistically difficult, full of terrifying rapids and grueling portages, and located in remotest Patagonia—Lowry country.

One might think that a nomad like Josh would lack in personal contact, but his voice, his laugh, his looks—his presence—was not easily forgotten. In the little town of Futaleufu, he was an institution. Show up and ask anybody in town, pantomime if you didn’t know Spanish, and you would find Josh before long.
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When Josh fell off a 50-foot cliff to the rocky bed of the Deschutes River, I can only suppose he was scouting the line through Benham Falls below, transfixed by the intricacy and randomness of tumbling water. That made sense to Josh.

In response to questions I posed for his profile (Kayak Session #35), Josh offered his philosophy on paddling technique. On the surface it was an appraisal of paddling style, but Josh was well aware that his answers ran deeper than that. His approach to paddling mimicked his approach to life, and it was an honorable course worth emulating. “I just place my paddle vertically in the river to feel the water, and hold it there without paddling, with short bursts of pushing or pulling to control angle. I feel that going slower than the current gives me a feeling of timelessness, a chance to look around, scouting, on the run.”

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A somber grey overcast draped an uneasy quiet over the Canyon, accentuating our insignificance beneath limestone walls that seemed to press in from two thousand feet above. The rumble of Upset Rapid grew louder as we rounded the corner. Among the kayakers, a collective anxiousness was palpable, because leader Mary DeRiemer had laid the ground rules clearly: If you want to run Lava, you have to run left at Upset. This was the test.
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From Andrew’s brave charge in the front to Wayne’s Blackadar-esque rolling frenzy to Rick’s unique big water line through the heart of the lateral, everyone succeeded in their own way. At the bottom, howls of relief echoed between the canyon walls. Adrenaline, focus, determination, and finally the joy and camaraderie that comes at the end of that one little victory, within an awe-inspiring place. This is whitewater kayaking.
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Of course our fourteen day trip with DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking and Tour West wasn’t all high drama. Most days were the same old wonderful routine of life on the river: Wake to daylight and birdsong, go boating, stop for a hike, crack a cold one, eat, sleep, and repeat—the good life. My highlight was a hike to the 50-Mile Diving Board, due to be featured in the new edition of Grand Canyon River Hikes.
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But I get to lofty heights in beautiful places often. This is my life. What inspired me most on this trip in particular was seeing a crowd of 50, 60, and 70-somethings who were kayaking and having fun with it. Septuagenarian Tom Cowden was the senior paddler of the trip. He was on his 23rd, and maybe last voyage through the Canyon. His presence offered me something to shoot for, three decades down the road. It was an enlightening juxtaposition from my recent visit with Rush Sturges, Ben Marr, and posse—the elite kayakers of today—around whom I felt more than a little over the hill. Kayaking clearly has many faces, from pushing the limits of class V, to challenging one’s self on class III, to simply following the flow and watching the cliffs slip past.

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Half-awake, I gazed at passing countryside reminiscent of Washington’s Skagit Valley. After a few hours on the paved and empty highway—the best kind—Samuelo, an Escualo, turned onto a narrow dirt road. A shortcut? No, just another leg of the still-developing Carretera Austral, Chile’s national southern highway. Patagonia was giving me civilization cravings.
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Arriving at the Futaleufu was a strange, ethereal experience. Having referenced and written about this place for so long, I had created a vision of the river and the surroundings in my head. Now that I was actually there, those ideas were shattered. I was presented with a reality that was quite different; beautiful, but different. It felt as if I were playing an unnatural role in my own dream.
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Paddling big fun challenging whitewater like the Futaleufu gets a hold on people. Lives revolve around this place, the paddling, and the river. Josh Lowry is the embodiment of this, and his small dedicated crew are disciples. Twenty-eight-year-old kayak junkie Joey Simmons is keenly aware of his  position in Lowry’s wake. “I’m here for the Josh Lowry experience,” he says with hardly a trace of sarcasm. Of course he’s here for the paddling first, but his Lowry association is cherished.
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Presently, Josh’s team is fired up on business strategies for their living-legend boss, whom I wrote about in issue #36 of Kayak Session. A switch in company name could be on the horizon, from the current “Futaleufu Explore” to “Futaleufu Experience.” The guides seized on the marketing possibilities immediately, scanning the Internet for Hendrix-esque company T-shirts. A new advertising tag-line was obvious: “Are you experienced?”
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I joined the boys for some experiences on the powerful Futaleufu, but my attention could not be strayed from a craggy spire above town. I had yet to reach the high country of the Andes during my visit to Chile, and the spire, called “La Teta,” beckoned. After following a caballero’s horse trail out of the valley, I camped on a flat of compacted volcanic ash, left overs from the Chaiten eruption that made international news several years ago.
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On the summit of La Teta the following morning, I watched clouds waft through an array of snowy Andean Peaks. As I left the summit, a whistling sound drew my attention to a condor hovering fifty feet overhead.
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Farther down, a hawk buzzed me three times as I emerged from the forest onto an open ridge. I thought it quaint at first, but then it nearly knocked me over with a high speed fly-by, and swooped once more when I wasn’t even looking. After that, I got my camera case ready to swing and knock it the hell out of the sky if it came in again.
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I spent a week in Futa before continuing north by bus to Chaiten, and then air to Puerto Varas, and the lovely Margouya 2 Hostel. One last paddle on Llanquehue Lake treated me to a rainbow over the water, luring me back to beautiful Chile before I’d even left.

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There was hardly a wisp of wind as we stroked through a small glassy swell. The channel, that huge intimidating monster, was now a pretty stretch of open water beneath sun dappled mountains. In two hours, we were on the far side enjoying a bag of highly-anticipated cookies that had been carefully held under Diana’s ration key for days. Once the cookies were gone, we turned over rocks looking for worms that Roberto could use as bait.
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Granite cliffs held powerful waterfalls crashing directly into the sea. An old wooden rowboat appeared on shore. We shouted as we passed, but raised nobody. Around the next point, the mystery was solved with a small wood-shake hut at the back of a small bay. Mate’ rounds circulated as a woman with chiseled features and striking black hair slowly spoke, her toothy smile lighting up at our curious comments. She knew the beach where we’d been stranded. She was once there for seven days, she said, waiting on the wind.
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After getting a radio message out, which slowly spread uncertain news of our well-being to the world, we took turns warming ourselves by the corner stove.  The hut walls were papered with dog food bags, tacked up to shield Patagonian winds that would otherwise whistle through the cracks. Sunlight pierced through tiny windows of plastic and glass. The nearest town, Tortel, required a seven-hour rowboat ride for the woman and her husband. Still, they offered us hot plates of fish and rice. We gratefully gobbled down our first full-size meal in days, and hit the water recharged for the end of our journey.
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A police boat motored up the channel. One or two days earlier, I would have welcomed the sight, but now we were so close to finishing I wanted to complete the journey under my own power. But that option had passed. The rescue effort was launched sooner, but the seas and skies were too much for them just as they were for us. We motored into Tortel while chatting with our rescue commitee, imbued with a new appreciation for Patagonian weather, and satellite phones.

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Clouds began to stack up, hastening departure from our post-adrenaline lunch break. We rounded a point at the end of San Francisco Island and once again, it was game-on. I stayed close to shore where rebound waves, called “clapotis” in sea kayak terms, sometimes surged me forward. Little crenulations in the coastline provided modest shelter from the torrent. Small headlands brought mini-hurricanes.
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At a major point, we gathered for a 50-yard sprint against the tempest. I estimated the wind blowing a steady 40 miles-per-hour, with gusts to 60. A desperate two-minute battle delivered us to the bay, where the wind tapered to a breeze. Darkness was not far off. A beach on the far side of the bay was our goal. Roberto thought a rancho might exist here. If so, we might get a message out on their radio. Diana could get word out to change her flight, or at least call off the impending search for us. We had hoped to be back in Tortel on Tuesday. It was now Wednesday, and we were still at least a day out. And the schedule wasn’t up to us. This wind was making the call now.
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We reached the beach at dusk. I was working on a fire when Roberto reported that this was in fact the campo, but it was long abandoned. There would be no radio tonight. Lisa got the tent pitched in a strengthening drizzle. We feasted on pasta and quickly retired to our tents. The staccato tap of rain on nylon droned all night. At dawn it still poured, and the channel looked huge. By 11 am, the deluge tapered. We emerged from our shelters to look out at a channel that remained raucous. The 8-mile crossing that awaited at the end of the island was obviously a no-go, but we had to keep moving. Our food supply was dwindling.
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A short paddle down the wind-battered coast brought us to the tip of the island where we camped on a sheltered narrow beach, our tents stacked side by side beside the campfire. I crawled and hacked across a headland to hang Roberto’s yellow Escualos flag from an overhanging coihue tree, so that any passing boats would see it, and hopefully us. When I returned, Roberto had caught three fish. This was a great relief to our building hunger. Again, it rained hard all night.
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By morning, the ground beneath our sleeping area was oozing with water. The earth was saturated, and springs were forming right under us. Lisa put on her drysuit and stepped into the steady shower. She returned moments later to report that the channel winds were down. The team began to break camp, but it’s not an easy process amidst Patagonian storm. By the time we were nearly ready, the winds sparked up again.
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We remained in paddling clothes just in case the wind died, but we also prepared for another night on the island. All five of us struggled, and finally succeeded, to get a fire going in the soggy conditions. I built a gravel platform to elevate our bed above the water in the tent. Lisa gathered driftwood from a beach across the cove. As Roberto fished stoically in the continuing rain, we gringos sang songs around the fire, exhausting the Simon and Garfunkel songbook before turning our attentions to Roberto’s catch, and another dinner of whole fish soup.
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The rain stopped by dawn, and I crept out to see the calmest sea in days. “Hey you guys, I think we should bust a move,” I crowed anxiously. We paddled onto a gentle swell beyond the point as a loud hum approached from the far side of the island. The plane banked toward shore, passing directly over us at 200 feet, and continued flying south. It was obviously a search plane. Clearly, it hadn’t seen us.

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The Jorge’ Montt Glacier is an extension of the Southern Patagonian Icefield, and like many glaciers on the planet, this one is in recession. We paddled deep into a curved bay littered with sculpted floating ice, encouraged onward by the promise of sighting the icefield. It finally revealed itself—nearly ten kilometers farther up the bay than my 1997 map indicated.
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A cold breeze coming off the ice chilled us, and a squall was approaching. Lisa and Roberto got a fire going while Weston and I erected the mega-mid, and Diana collected wood. After fifteen minutes of struggle, we had a meager shelter and a growing fire. It was another hour before everyone was warm.
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Light winds allowed us to reach a perfect gravel beach that was sheltered from the Northwesterlies. This was Isla Clara, indicated on our map by name, but not shown as a land mass. By dark, everyone was rested and ready for an early start in the morning. Diana had a flight leaving in three days. We needed to reach Tortel in two. If the weather cooperated, this would be no problem.
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I awoke to wind flapping the tent at 2 am. Rain followed, and when I crept out at daybreak I found the tide lapping at rocks twenty feet higher than the previous evening. Roberto was stoking a fire. He had awakened to one of the kayaks scraping on the rocks, floating. Neither of us had to say anything to acknowledge the gravity of this close call. Seas peeled by the outside of the island, like a river rolling past with whitecaps from shore to shore. I went back to bed.
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By late morning the storm had passed but the wind continued out in the channel. Weston and I went for a scout, bushwhacking over moss ledges and wading through ferns to reach an overlook. The shoreline of Isla Carla appeared navigable, but after that things got spicy. A point formed an obvious eddyline, beyond which a channel roared with big waves. If we could make it across that quarter-mile crossing, safe harbor could be found in the lee of the next island. We returned to camp to deliver the encouraging news: We had one big ferry ahead of us, but another sheltered beach was within reach.
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We gathered at the point and went over the plan. Lisa would lead. I would sweep. We had to reach the lowest beach on the far side. If anyone missed that landing, they’d be off down the channel. Lisa peeled out and immediately started losing ground. Wave-spray whipped past and she disappeared behind the swells. When I could see her at wave crests, it was obvious that she was paddling hard, a pace she couldn’t sustain for long. I peeled out paddling with as much pace as I could bargain, occasionally pausing to brace when the biggest rollers came past.
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After several minutes, the wind began to slacken. We were starting to reach the shelter of the next island. Although we all made the crossing with room to spare, the ferocity of the wind and the size of the waves only re-invigorated our respect for the conditions. Exposing ourselves to open water in this wind was pure lunacy.

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We drifted through the burned barren landscape of the lower Pascua in an unrelenting heavy mist. Roberto knew of a military camp nearby that was headquarters for the Carretera Austral’s continuing construction into the frontier. We walked to the lonely encampment and found a plain-clothed sergeant. Soon, we were sitting in the empty mess hall eating spaghetti with hot dogs, contentedly sipping Nescafe out of the rain. Staring at maps on the wall, nobody could decipher the route Chile had planned for its national southern highway. Pinched between the southern Patagonia Icefield and the Pacific, real estate was running out. The officer assured us that the next point of land was their goal. Further orders were a matter for the future.
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Back into the soaking mist, we floated in search of camp. Instead, a homestead appeared on river right. A man strolled across his yard under an umbrella. Minutes later, five wet paddlers surrounded the wood stove of Rafael and family. After setting up our tents in the yard, we settled in for an evening of Chilean TV (via satellite), mesmerized by the raunchy humor of an improv show beamed across the wilderness from a city two thousand miles away.
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The rain stopped by morning. We floated the final few miles of the Rio Pascua, skirting breakers where the current met the sea.
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A crippling headwind funneled up the fjord. The shoreline crept past at less than one-mile-per-hour. We pulled into a cliff-bound cove where we could rest without being pushed backward, and where our voices could be heard over the whistling wind. Following a quick discussion, we probed around a bluff hoping for salvation, and found it. Weston gave a cheer, and we followed him in to a sheltered beach.
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I don’t know if the wind diminished or we just got sick of waiting, but we set off again in late afternoon. Our goal was to clear Glacier Point, where the wind would no longer be funneling straight against us. Fighting the oncoming waves, we got strung out. Each of us was engaged in our own epic battle to make headway against the rolling sea. Sighting the other boats was difficult as they bobbed in the swell, and turning to look for them was precarious, distracting me from the relentless waves.
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Glacier Point crept past, and for the first time in hours I could stop paddling. Rays of sunlight beamed through cloud cover in the west. Floating objects in the distance glowed with an unnatural blue, luminesced from within. My mind worked through the possibilities for several seconds before it came to me—Icebergs! To my relief, the rest of the team cleared the point safely, and we pulled into camp beside a bobbing berg at twilight. If the winds cooperated, we would seek the source of the floating ice chunks in the morning.
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Today, the Carreterra Austral—Chile’s southern highway—ends at the Pascua River, a mile past the home of Hernan Guelet and family. Physically, the road continues on the other side of the river, but with no ferry service travelers are at the end of the line when they reach the mighty Pascua. We stopped here, too, for a look around at the proposed Pascua dam site, and share thoughts about what lies upstream.
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Draining the huge inland waterway of Lake O’Higgins, the Pascua plunges into the Andes over Niagra-esque waterfalls before snaking into a deep hidden gorge. In the history of whitewater paddling, only three parties have probed into the Pascua canyons. The first descent, in 1999, was led by paddling icon Josh Lowry. Lisa and I ran Arizona’s West Clear Creek with Josh the season prior to his landmark exploration. During that trip, he talked about the mission daily, smitten with the adventure. His excitement was justified. Following a turbulent flight over the canyon to scout, they hired a several-hour boat transport out of Villa O’Higgins, to the end of the lake. From here, it was three days of heinous portaging and hairball paddling before Josh’s team emerged in the Quetru Valley. They planned to paddle and portage their way north across lakes and swamps to the new road along the Rio Bravo, but they ran into Hernan Guelet instead. In his skiff, Hernan motored them for 40 miles to Tortel, where they faced another skiff ride of twenty-plus miles up the Baker River to a jeep trail, which led a couple miles to a road. The Pascua is remote whitewater. The late Russell Kelley and Damon Miller took on the Pascua next. Unable to afford the expensive boat ride across Lake O’Higgins to the river’s start, they hired a horse packer to drop them on a tributary that would lead them close to the Pascua put-in. It was a dry year, however, and the tributary was too low to float. They dragged their way downstream anyway, made it to the lake, and finished the Pascua’s second descent. Noted paddlers Tyler Curtis, Matt Gontram, and Mariann Saether used a floatplane to reach the river, and all went well until Mariann swam and lost her boat in one of the final rapids. In the section of river we looked down upon, where the Pascua bursts from a narrow canyon onto a wide floodplain, Mariann stayed with the swirling cold river rather than hiking along shore. The hiking is that bad.
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Three expeditions, three epics, this is a river of monumental proportions. To imagine that untamed place subdued with three dams struck me as more tragic than damming the much-publicized Baker. Like the American West’s Glen Canyon of the 1950s, nobody knows this place, and that does not bode well for its preservation. Right now, the proposed Pascua dam site is littered with drill holes, an unnatural road cut, and a dynamite shed bored into the cliff that is labeled defiantly with graffitti, “Patagonia Sin Represas.”

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Dark clouds stormed the harbor, and a stiff cold wind rattled metal roofs. Lisa put on wet clothes that had not dried overnight because the stove faltered due to wet wood. We hefted our packs and climbed the boardwalk steps to the road-end rotunda shelter, perched at the windiest spot in town. Weston was due to arrive at 7:30. At 7:40, we got out sleeping bags and draped them over us. Fresh snow was visible on the mountains above town, behind scudding clouds. Sitting there freezing, my opinion of Tortel changed from—idyllic village untrammeled by the big busy world—to—desperate end of the road place without opportunity or much to do. It was a mountain and sea bound prison, and we wanted out.
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Weston arrived at 11 am (turns out there is no gas available in Patagonia on New Years Day), at which time I was off attempting to log onto email at the Tortel public library, to no avail. When I returned, everyone was in a big rush. The ferry at Puerto Yungay was leaving in 41 minutes, and it was a 45 minute drive away. We raced down the lonely Carretera Austral and curved over a pass, waterfalls magically gushing forth at every new bend. It began to sleet. Weston locked up the brakes at a gravel corner, producing a small collision with a cliff, but we carried on. When the clock struck 12:00—the ferry hour—we could see water a mile ahead. Rounding the final corner for the moment of truth, we could see the ferry boat. It was a quarter-mile from shore, motoring away.
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Our six-hour wait passed without much suffering. There were hot empanadas at the ferry cafe, and the dock gradually collected an eclectic mix of travelers; cyclists from the Netherlands, Chilenos going to see family, fly fisherman, and a Brazillian couple who were on a 1,000-day road trip across North and South America. We were the only paddlers there, but varied enough in our own right: Roberto—the Chilean teacher/adventurer, Weston—the Colorado/Patagonia filmmaker, Diana—the college senior/journalist, Lisa, and me.
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At the far end of the ferry crossing, we piled into Weston’s truck and turned down the Quetru Valley toward the Pascua River. The scenery was immediately reminiscent of Alaska. Boggy muskeg valleys linked lakes beneath mostly barren broad mountains. A pick-up truck with a partially shattered windshield approached from the other direction. Inside were a man, woman, and child. This was the clan of Hernan Guelet, settler of the Quetru.
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In 1968, Hernan was a teenager living in isolated Tortel, Chile, when he read a military explorer’s report on the Quetru Valley. At nineteen, Hernan set off with a friend to locate his Shangri-La, rowing a 16-foot wooden boat across seldom traveled wind-ripped sea channels. For a map, they had a hand-drawn copy of a government survey. When they reached the Pascua River mouth, they rowed upstream for four days. As the river climbed into a gorge, and a valley opened to the north, Hernan knew he had arrived at his new home. He made that same journey many times over the next three decades before the route to civilization changed at the turn of this century. A road was plowed to within twenty miles of the homestead, and the Guelet family could ride horseback to the road, and the ferry. In 2006, a new gravel track was made, leading directly past Hernan’s house. This was the road we arrived on, to play soccer with 6-year-old Julio, and listen to stories of the frontier over endless rounds of matte.

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Chileans are very kind welcoming people, and in far removed rural Patagonia, their hospitality is heightened even more. As we sat inside listening to the pouring rain on the first day of 2014, our host at the Hospedaje Giselle, Maria (Giselle we learned is a granddaughter), invited us to her daughter’s house for a traditional New Year’s celebration, called an asada.
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We walked fifty yards across a wooden boardwalk to one of Tortel’s many hillside homes, and entered as five; Nicco and Elizabeth from Santiago, Tyler and Lisa from los Estados Unidos, and grandma Maria, from across the boardwalk. A living/dining/kitchen room was dominated by a centrally located stove. In a corner was a small sink. Two teenage boys sat on a bench to the left, their ball cap bills shaped in severe curves. A reserved teenage girl in a red faux-leather jacket sat in the corner next to a tall fair skinned grandfather. A massive boombox pounded out Latino tango beats. We were offered a clear sweet wine, with canned fruit filling the bottom of the glass. Lisa squeezed onto a couch behind the stove. I sat on a wooden chair beside a rotund garrulous fellow who smiled often, revealing very few teeth.
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The grandpa wasted little time asking young nose-ringed Elizabeth for a dance. They stepped across the room in patterns, a welcome diversion for those of us who struggled to make conversation with our limited Spanish. Lisa took the floor with the elder next. A short time later, she produced grins all around with her non traditional individual boogie, opposite one of the young nephews. Later, my wife and I were coerced onto the floor together. Despite our ugly incompetence with swing dance, the locals demanded more, and we struggled through a contemporary Chilean song that seemed to have no end.
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For much of the evening, I lingered outside near the slow fire-cooked lamb, or cordero. Splayed open and pinned to a cross, it leaned over a bed of hot coals until 10 pm, when a shout went out to the neighborhood. Several more of the extended clan crowded into the house, making the obligatory rounds of handshakes and cheek kisses. As the cordero was laid on the table to be unhitched from the cross (“very meaningful” explained Nicco), I counted 19 people filling the fifteen by fifteen room.
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I sat in the back with a plate of tasty greasy meat, lettuce, and bread with pobra—a Chilean salsa—as a bota bag of red wine began to make the rounds. We made our exit around midnight, when the dance floor was again seeing some use, and the music was back up to unnatural levels. I surreptitiously closed the room window from outside, trying to contain the thump thump thump of Tortel’s New Year asada. We had an early morning ahead.

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