Tuesday, July 29, 2014

River Adventuring

This Spring I was able to be part of a river trip training on the the Yampa River in Colorado, which is also known as the last great un-dammed river in the West.

The Yampa runs 400km, starting as a small mountain creek passing through Steamboat Springs before merging with the Green River near the Utah border. Eventually the Green River turns in the Colorado. I remember watching 1960era movies in Secondary School about this great river; today with damming and water use it limps and oozes through the areas it once dominated.

The idea that would be able to navigate part of a wild river captured my imagination and within a week I moved from feeling ambivalent towards boating, with all the gear, plastics and systems it can involve, to gaining a sense of wonderment about nights spent sleeping on the beaches. One thing I that still find mindblowing is that you can't turn around. There is no going back. To me that's pretty wild.

As a river neophyte I was welcomed into the river culture by instructors who gently and patiently explained peeing in the river, the difference between a wug and schnaadle and that I should not call my lifevest a PDF but a PFD. 

I am now the proud owner of my own PDF. 

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