In this installment of Flashback Friday, Ted gives Sowards some background about his family and their history running rivers in the Southwest
E. Sowards: Kind of give me a little bit of history on your family. Your mom and dad… how did they meet? Did they ever tell you the story about how they met? Or did they just meet each other at church?
Ted: Probably… they never said exactly how they met. Dad used to describe when he would go up into Dry Fork to see mom, up at the old Caldwell Homestead – where Matthew Caldwell lived. He had to let the air out of the tires on his car to drive through the sand, and then pump them up again to go on up. Usually when he went up to see them he had to stay all night. He would stay that day and then come back the next day, because the road was so bad. Then, the creek would flood, and to get across the creek to the old Homestead was difficult. But he would always go up to see her. They never really told me exactly how they met.
E. Sowards: How many children are in your family? I am not a native of Vernal, so I don’t know your family.
Ted: My mother and dad had five boys. I am the youngest, and my brother Gus is the oldest. Then there was one named Foy, and Don and Frank and then me.
E. Sowards: How do you spell Foy?
Ted: F.O.Y. He died when he was about a year-and-a-half old from a heart condition.
E. Sowards: Oh.
Ted: Gus is in Florida running a giant Soy Bean Ranch for Bunge Corporation.
Ted: […] It’s a Dutch Grain and Soy Bean Exporting and Importing Firm.
E. Sowards: You have a brother that runs the Snake River?
Ted: Don has the trips up here on the Green and the Yampa and the Middle Fork and Cataract and Desolation. I do Grand Canyon. My brother Frank is in Salt Lake City, and he is a C.P.A. in the Continental Bank. All of us have run the river at different times. Don and I stayed with it, the rest prefer to do something else. It wasn’t all that profitable in the early days. I mean, we didn’t make any money. We did it because we liked to do it. We went for years and years, just because it was fun. We would always have our big family trip, you know. We would go out and run the Yampa.
Plenty of families out there make a business out of doing what they love and sharing it with their siblings and children. The Hatch family is fortunate that for them that means guiding people on wilderness river adventures.
Check back next week, when Ted tells us about the job duties and training process of a swamper.