January 19, 2013
A Look Inside Badges, Bears, and Eagles: Chapter 3, “Squeaky”
As day dawned, our previous enthusiasm had given way to absolute misery. To make matters worse, the mosquitoes returned and stuck around until about 7:00 a.m., when the scorching desert heat drove them away. There had been no sign of Squeaky or anyone else. My disillusioned partner and I wanted to pack up and go home, but something told us that Squeaky would show up any minute. An hour passed and Squeaky had still not come, so we waited one more hour and then another.
By 10:00 a.m., the temperature had climbed to a hundred degrees and was quickly rising. We felt like a couple of eggs, frying on a hot rock. “Where are you, Squeaky?” asked Szody, groggy and beaten down by the elements.
“Do you hear something?” I asked, reaching for my binoculars. Szody picked up his spotting scope and pointed it upriver. The faint sound of a distant outboard motor teased our ears. At first we thought we were just imagining things; then the hum of the motor grew louder. A big smile spread across Szody’s face as a small boat came into view. “Is that you, Squeaky?” he wondered aloud.