If there was any doubt about one of the coolest things in the world being a powerful woman then River House will put to rest any remaining debate. Sarahlee Lawrence is a badass. She guides Class V rivers around the world, including the Tambopata in Peru, which is mind blowing because I’ve seen that river at high levels and it freaked me out even walking by it. She drives from Peru to Patagonia in a van with a bad head. She guides the Nile. She surfs, and she decides to return to her Oregon home to build a log cabin BY HAND.
As things tend to do in life, the pieces of the puzzle connect then disintegrate, again and again. Her father, a complex soul trapped in a life that didn’t fit, eventually comes apart in dramatic fashion. Winter, rough timber and the eternal feeling of not knowing if the path you chose is the one you should actually walk. I read this book in an afternoon because I was both impressed but also a bit melancholy because of the aspects that felt a bit like my life. I don’t run rivers or build log houses by hand, but the ranching, the cold and the uncertainty made me feel like I was reading while looking in the mirror. Get it, read it.