Tag Archive: outdoors

Week One, Done!

Its crazy to me how, no matter where I travel, when people are all thrust into the same situations (ex. Being far from home, not knowing anyone else, and having never done this kind of thing before), how quickly and seamlessly strangers can come together.

I started my summer Saturday (The 11th) when I set out on Greyhound, arrived here Sunday night, and started training Monday morning at eight. Monday through Friday we all (18 total), worked from eight to five, learning completely new skills, learned new things, and really got to know one another. I have technically only been here for six days, but already the other potential guides and I have become good friends. White water rafting isn’t as dangerous as somethings out there, but my fellow trainees and I have a new and humble respect for the water, and what a truly powerful entity that it is. Because of this going down the river has been unifying.

Together, all of us previous strangers, have to work together to get effectively and safely from Put-In to the Out-Post, while learning to be the best that any of us can. We learn from each other, help one another, and all around just bond.

There are people from all over the country working here, and even one Scottish born European. There are several people from Colorado, California, a guy from Washington, a gal from Michigan, a collection from the South, and despite the fact that we are all similar and work well together, we are each unique and offer something special to the table. Our collective skills include Yoga instructor, boulder enthusiasts, photographers, traveling experts, wilderness emergency responders, rafting veterans, nurses, one guy makes and sells hammocks, and mine personally, amateur massage therapist.

As one, we are an amazing group. Most of us have Bachelors if not Masters, and for the ones that don’t, they are still currently in school. If something needs to be done, or someone has an issue with something, we just need to ask around and one or more of us have the equipment or know how to help out. And the best part? We are ALL more than willing to help out!

Training is officially over now, but this next week we will all be doing Turkey Runs (a group of just us potential guides and no senior guide) and Ride Alongs (a potential guide, a senior guide, and actual customers) down the river. We keep this up until we have been “Checked Out” twice (do enough ride alongs and can confidentially maneuver the river with no added help) and then we will be official guides.

The short journey it has been so far has been absolutely mind blowing, and I can only eagerly await what I know will be more adventure to come!


Bound For Tennessee

This past week I have been preparing for leaving this coming Saturday, and as usual I have been busy with last minute inevitable errands.  No matter how far ahead you plan and get ready, no matter what, towards the end, things will be busy; complete packing, saying farewell to friends, and finishing books.  I love to read, but traveling with books is heavy and takes up a lot of space, and I refuse to leave with stories unfinished.

Per usual I know very little about my coming summer plans.  I found my white water river rafting guide by searching “cool summer jobs,” applied, and within the month secured the job.   I will be in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee guiding rafts down the river.  The first week I will be training, and the first couple weeks I will be learning the ropes.  From Memorial Day to Labor Day the river is open four days a week, offering me plenty of time to explore and travel around to the local area, and hopefully as far as Nashville.

I spend many months out of the year away from my home in Maine, and because of such, I end up leaving, a lot.  One would think that it would make it easier the next time it came to saying good-bye, but I have found that it has the opposite effect.  Saying good-bye only gets harder and harder each time.

However, I am a committed explorer, and I take the good with the bad.  And traveling offers too many pro’s to really concern yourself with the con’s.  I live for the thrill of trying something new for the first time.  I enjoy exploring new places and different territories.   And I love tasting new food.  Variety is the spice of life, and I embrace this view of life to the fullest!

Rafting on the Arkansas River, Colorado, USA

Rafting on the Arkansas River, Colorado, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)