One of our Dear Friends and LBRs uses the pseudonym "Siegfried" when he makes comments. Those of you who check the comments undoubtedly have read notable comments from fellow LBR Siegfried. This blog post is dedicated to Siegfried and we'll tell you why way down at the end of the post.
Neither Seigfried nor I can remember precisely when we met but we remember the place--it was in Chicago. I think it was probably 1981 but might have been 1982. Don't you hate it when you can't remember something to the nearest year? Anyway, it was a really long time ago. He and I were attending a gathering of financial analytical practitioners who used a variety of very esoteric and highly arcane tools to read the markets' tea leaves. Siegfried and I hit it right off and became friends for life. We've had a wide variety of adventures since then. In 1983, for example, he and a family member of his came along on our famous Grand Canyon river trip. We were the last trip they allowed to launch before they closed the river due to ridiculously high water. We ran Crystal at the peak flow of 100,000 cfs. It was a real epic trip. Two other LBRs were on that trip, too. Siegfried met my parents on that trip and has stayed in regular contact with my Mom ever since.
Siegfried goes way back with river running. He actually ran the San Juan with the Norm Nevills outfit and I think that was BEFORE Glen Canyon Dam.
Siegfried's always been a real adventurer--frequently hiking into places relatively few people go. Just last year I think he hiked up the backside of Half Dome in Yosemite and not long ago he ventured again to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back. He loves to get "out there" and he's been doing it all his life. Way to go, Siegfried!
He came to visit our Straw House once down by Montezuma Well. The most recent time we got together was out at Bowery Guard Station in 2006 or 2007, once again I can't remember. I think it was 2006. While waiting for him to drive in on that lonely road, I spied out a hint of a trail. During his visit, the three of us followed that faint trace and "discovered" an old, long forgotten trail connecting Heather's Place to the route to get to the hot springs. Heather always mentions how grateful she is to know about that trail. We wouldn't even have a clue about that trail if not for Siegfried's visit.
Siegfried keeps us well supplied with insights and commentary on global climate patterns and other macro economic perspectives. We so appreciate his sharing those things with us.
In a past life, Siegfried was a music teacher back in the Midwest. Now he and his wife live on the West Coast and he ushers for the San Fransisco Symphony and maybe the opera, too, if memory serves me right.
We talk often on the phone and it's always a pleasure to hear his voice and find out what he's been doing.
Monday, a mysterious box showed up on our doorstep. It was a really HEAVY box--weighing 18 pounds! There was no hint on the box about its contents, only a trace of a stamp that said it was a gift. Susun and I didn't know what to make of the box so we thought we'd let it sit overnight before opening it Tuesday morning. After coffee and cornbread, we hefted the box up on the table and sliced away. Imagine our abject surprise, delight and amazement when we discovered it to be a gift from Siegfried--SIX bottle of California estate-bottled Merlot all safe in their custom foam clamshell!!!! These bottles of merlot have been aged 11 years so we can only imagine the enjoyment that awaits when the corks are pulled. We plan on using each bottle for a very special occasion. We'll take a photo of each occasion and send six pictures to Siegfried so he can see how each bottle brought a special flair to special moments.
We don't have a clue as to why Siegfried all of a sudden sent six bottles of estate Merlot to 12th Street here in Idaho Falls. Apparently, it's "just because." Anyway, it's yet another intriguing and memorable chapter in our ongoing book of friendship.
Thanks, Dave! May your Trails be Happy Always and All Ways! May your spirit soar to ever new heights and may your heart sing forever with the joy of life and adventure. We sure appreciate you. Cheers from John & Susun.