I’m typing this with aching, blistered fingers after having slept nearly twelve hours. When I first began calling this trip an “expedition,” it was with tongue firmly in cheek–but that is in fact what it became. Being out on a major river alone, scrambling over industrial ruins, trying to make headway against wind, barge wakes, and choppy water while keeping an eye out for alarmingly swift oil tankers is not something to take lightly. That said, this trip has revealed far more than I could have ever dared hope. I do feel as though I’ve visited another world that is all around us but is completely obscured by highways and bridges. Re-exploration may seem like a playful, gimmicky term, but that’s what this trip was about: finding the terrain between, below, and around the infrastructure. The “local frontier” exists.
So much to share with you! But first, we have to sift through and edit hundreds of images, videos, and audio files. So many people to thank, and thank them I shall, but my greatest debt of gratitude goes to my support team: my loving wife, Susan, and Les and Laura Baird. Their endless enthusiasm and resourcefulness made the Hidden River Expedition a success. I could never have done it without them.