Letters, Journal Extracts and Sketches

to Milwaukee from the Southwest, 1969-70

by Kayak Peter Wait

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Me in c.1967, before coming west, while still a nice clean cut boy. The picture was probably taken on the Wisconsin River.
Table of Contents


On his birthday in 1969, our hero followed the advice of Horace Greeley and went west.

His previous experience in the west being, in the late 50's, crossing the Mississippi to sleep in an Iowa corn field, immediately returning to his natal state of Wisconsin. And then in 68, flying to SF to visit a friend seeing such sights as Height-Ashbury and a cafe reputed to be a hotbed of the Berkeley Free Speach movement. But, stirred by tales of Mountain Men such as Jeb Smith and Grizzle Adams and explorers such as Powell and Fremont, he needed to see more of the real or natural west. So, on Oct. 10,1969 he headed west, or rather, east as his first stop was Ann Arbor.

It is also rumored that the impending Wisconsin Winter helped spur him on.

These are some of the remaining letters, journals and sketches sent back to Milwaukee. They were fondly saved by his mom, the archivist of the Wait family. I have now taken upon myself the mantle of Archivist, and in that role offer you these bits of the past.
Enjoy. PJW 9/17/2000


Index to the Letters

Bouder City, NV 11/28/69
the wily coyote and swift roadrunner
Lake Mohave, 12/14/69
L. Mead portage journal extracts & sketches
Needles, CA 12/30/69
new year's plans & the wind journal extracts
Earp, CA 1/6/70
description of the Parker Strip
Yuma, AZ 1/17/70
bro John; Blythe to river's end

Index to the Journal Extracts

Hoover Dam, 12/11/69
the portage around the dam
Black Canyon, 12/12-13
a flooded camp, a hot shower & a barking coyote
Eldorado Canyon, 12/14
rockhound, coyote companion & a pleasant camp w/sketch
above Needles, 12/28
a desert wind storm; coming into Needles
below Earp, 1/7/70
bacon, beaver & cranes

Index to the Sketches

...too skinny and too quick
Wily Coyote
a new way of life
Kayaker Love
a signature
An Idyllic Campsite
It has real trees
A Slide Show
of all the following.
The Portage
Around Lake Mead
Flooded Camp
They Opened the Dam, or the night I camped too close.
The Shower
A refreshing Shower in a Waterfall. WARNING! NUDITY
The Rockhound
Rocks are fascinating, but heavy.
The Desert Kayaker
...or River's End

About these pages

In the future I will add what ever material I still have, mainly more letters. I will also include more comments and reminiscences. And who knows the journal or photos could still show up. I know my mom has a photo of me as I leave Milw.

If you wish to be notified of major updates to this site or you just wish to comment send me an email.

Mail to: kalpjw@earthlink.net



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edited by Peter J Wait, 9/13/00 9:57:34 PM