Even though we had the best intentions of getting up at 6:30 to paint, we are both so tired we can’t move. We drowse for another hour and a half.

I wake slowly and decide to continue reading where I left off the night before with Gini’s notes from Rusti Warner’s painting class…the most important point that sticks with me is to “exaggerate the effects of light.”

We eat breakfast in the warm sun on our perch above the river and then we have another pile of dishes to do.

During breakfast, Gini suggests that we try to get upstream to the confluence of Granite Creek and the Middle Fork. It looks close but there is a barrier of willow bushes between it and us.

Our location goal for the day—can we make it to the area that we call the confluence?


All geared up and ready to go paint. The water bag at my feet will get anchored in the river during the day and keep our beers and other food cold.

We pare down our supplies to the bare minimum. Gini is able to fit her easel into her backpack secured by bungies. I opt to leave my easel behind. Our umbrellas are a must, as are our hiking poles. We will need those to navigate the rocks on the river’s edge. We are sure to get wet feet!

Gini forging ahead as we skirt the willows and make our way upriver.

We navigate the willows and are able to step on rocks for the most part. Every so often we have to step in the river and I’m grateful for waterproof boots. Soon we come to an animal trail and can go through a break in the willows for a short distance on the riverbed.

Gini on the riverbed behind the willows—so much easier to make headway.

My hurt foot is holding up well although I can feel a burning sensation where I stepped on the pebble. I’m glad for the poles. Back to the water’s edge and we go a little farther. Another animal trail in the willows leads to an open rocky area. It’s clear hiking from there and we are at the confluence in no time.

We are very excited about the abundance of potential sites. And we are very proud of ourselves for pushing to get to this spot.

Gini feeling the power of “wilderness women” as she reaches the confluence.


On the prowl looking for the perfect scene to paint. I continue using my hiking pole to take the pressure off my sore foot.

Gini sets up her easel and I find a log close by where I can sit and paint. I’m glad because my hurt foot is starting to talk to me and I don’t like what it’s saying! I’m a little concerned about it but I continue to baby it with the hopes that it will feel better soon.

The perfect spot to paint!

We have to anchor my umbrella with large rocks. Gini ties her umbrella to her easel and we hang my pack with rocks to her easel to fortify it against the gusts of wind that come through every fifteen minutes.

Gini finding her groove at the easel.

It’s at this point that I’ve started to call Gini “inGinious.” She’s the one who figures out how to combat the wind and keep her easel from flying away. She is so creative at problem solving and mechanics. She continues to amaze me.

I’ll leave you with this goofy photo. Gini and I had so much fun together and we had some great belly-laughs. I just wish I could remember what was so funny this time!

Stay tuned as we begin a wonderful afternoon of painting…