It was the first of July, and I had just entered a time in my life when I needed to disappear for a while. No vehicle or boat trailer remained behind to mark my departure at the launch site on the Bighole River near Divide, Montana. Jim Crumley--after dropping me and my gear off below the bridge--had towed the old trailer to Livingston where he left it in front of a friend's house. My own pickup had gone away with my ex-wife.
It had been one hell of a year. My close friend, the writer Edward Abbey, had died; tribal loyalty dictated I be there to attend his death and to see to his requested illegal burial deep in the desert wilderness. These duties I executed. Then there were the wakes and memorials--hard on the health of the living. Two months later, the FBI busted the radical environmental group Earth First!. Since Earth First! was loosely conceived around a book Abbey had written, these events were linked. The problem was that on the same morning that the group's leader, Dave Foreman, was popped, the FBI showed up at my home in Tucson.
I pushed the driftboat off into the current, never knowing where the journey would end.
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