Looking back through pictures, I can see that I’ve rafted rivers since I was about 10 years old.
My dad used to take his squadron guys and their families rafting on the American River in Sacramento each summer. I remember the gold Coors beer cans. Grilling hot dogs and eating potato salad at the picnic area. And we kids used to float in tubes tied to the rafts until we got the “rapids” parts.
I didn’t raft again until my 20’s when I moved to Charlotte. My cousin Deb and her boyfriend and I rafted the Nantahala. That river was (still is) COLD!!! I do remember the water being so clear that my cousin’s boyfriend jumped in the water because he saw a $20 bill laying on rocks at the bottom of the river. He grabbed that $20 and it basically paid for our raft rental. (Remember, this was in the mid-90’s).
Throughout the early 2000’s, I rafted the Nanty quite a few more times. With my family, we rafted the New River and I remember getting sucked under by a river hydraulic and it shot me back out downstream. The raft guide looked at me and said, “OMG – what happened?” That was the same trip where the raft guide thought it would be fun to dump-truck us when he tried to re-enter the rapid from the bottom.
Trips out west included a quick day trip on the Kenai River when spent a summer campground hosting in Alaska, rafting the Arkansas River through Brown’s Canyon and a life-changing 16-day trip on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon.
My hubby and I also rafted the French Broad River from Rosman, North Carolina to Douglas Lake in Tennessee over 13 days. And I’ve kayaked too many rivers (and lakes) to list here.
Most of my best memories are tied to being on the water for a few days or a few weeks. And I can say unequivocally that I’ve met some of my best friends through rafting and kayaking.
There’s something about being OUT IN IT that speaks to the deepest parts of me. I feel more like myself when I’m on the water. There’s just permission to be ME.
And that gets me thinking about the river trip that Sylke Laine and planning for 10 women in August on the Main Salmon in Idaho. This adventure – the Salmon River Slow Down – promises to be as memorable because we’ll be OUT IN IT for six days/five nights rafting 80 miles. There’ll be time and space to be with yourself. To slow down. To be YOU.
Interested in joining us? We’re just about halfway sold out. Learn more and grab your spot here: https://coaching.mrslaine.com/salmon-river-slow-down/