Fellows in the News

Peter Vorster is a spritely hydro-geographer (“I invented that term!” he told me, beaming) from the Bay Institute, a group that studies this watershed “from the Sierras to the sea.” I’d asked him to join us on the mountain. He arrived a shaken-up soda can of a person -- just literally bursting with stories.

It was easy to see how much he loves this river; his enthusiasm was infectious.

As we flipped on our headlamps and started cooking dinner, stars lighting up the sky, Peter talked about his previous experiences hiking in this part of the Sierra. Once, when he was a teenager, he didn’t bring a tent because he wanted to sleep under the night sky. It started raining, and he shivered through the night -- going through all the stages of hypothermia, wondering if he’d live.

Most people would take that as a lesson never to trust nature again, or never to camp without a tent, at least. Not Peter. He didn’t bring a tent this time, either.

He couldn't bear to have a piece of nylon between him and the stars and the river.

His love for this place is that psychotically strong.

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