The 25th Headwaters Conference, The Working Wild, began Friday, Sept. 20 at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison. The auditorium was full in anticipation of the keynote speaker, Gary Snyder. One spectator mused, “It’s the gathering of the eagles,” with community leaders from all over the Headwaters region in attendance. After a poem by Art Goodtimes and a song by Alan Wartes, Conference Director John Hausdoerffer introduced Snyder. He revealed that Snyder, a beat generation poet, inspired Jack Kerouac’s famous character from the Dharma Bums, Japhy Ryder.