Tom Dustin on The Call of the River

“In a 1996 book entitled The Call of the River author Page Stegner provides this characterization:  “The call of the river is a complexity of motion and sound which extracts from mere mortals the wildest diversity of emotional response.  Awe, dread, tranquility, devotion, ecstasy.  The river is an abstraction of universal force.”

Yes, the call is all of that, but it is still more.  One does not have to conquer a river to feel its tug upon our souls; in the very end one is not even required to paddle it to feel its magic.  As with a distant wilderness that we may never see, it is a fulfillment to know that it is even there; and with that knowledge as our main reward, we are justified to fight like junkyard dogs to assure present and future generations that a good representation of these creations remain to enrich all life by its very existence.  That is a very satisfying framework of mind, heart and soul.  But it carries a heavy obligation for the forces afield bent upon their conversion, “improvement”, “mechanization”, “development”, are in fact determined to destroy these remnants of our heritage.  The evidence of this fact is found on every hand and is irrefutable”.    Tom Dustin, Isaak Walton League of Indiana, 1998



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