12 Moments You Can Only Experience on a River Trip
There’s this thing that happens to me on the river after a few days. My mind goes blank.
When you’re a busy, working parent, or even if you don’t have kids and you’re someone who is constantly trying to balance a demanding schedule, this can be a strange, almost uncomfortable, feeling.
I was trying to explain this sentiment to someone after returning from my last multi-day river trip, and they summed it perfectly, “When we’re so free that the mind is spacious, that’s when we deeply reset.”
Ah-ha! Yes, that’s the beauty of disappearing on a river trip and taking a break from the frenetic pace of our lives for a few days. Our mental load lightens, the to-do list disappears, and our only priority is to take pause, be in the now, and soak up all those little experiences that truly make river trips extraordinary.
After all, as one person pointed out on our last day on the river together, we don’t get moments like this in real life. I knew exactly what she meant.
It’s when you…
1) Find the perfect campsite on the beach and realize your only real chore each day is to put up and take down your tent.
2) Savor a delicious surf and turf dinner that somebody else prepared, giving you the chance to actually connect with the people around you.
3) Get the chance to lazily wake up and savor a cup of coffee in silence while the sun slowly illuminates the canyon walls in a blazing orange.
4) Push off from shore and feel an instant calm set in because you have nowhere else to be except this strikingly beautiful river canyon.
5) Find a rare inner peace when you stretch out in the back of a raft, close your eyes and zone out to the meditative rhythm of the oars hitting the water.
6) Watch in wonder as a herd of bighorn sheep wander into camp and cautiously eat their dinner nearby.
7) Feel an endorphin high because you just faced a Class III wave train in an inflatable kayak for the first time and made it through right-side-up.
8) Realize half-way through the trip that you haven’t looked at your phone or email once, don’t remember what day of the week it is anymore, and feel truly free.
9) Don’t care that you haven’t showered in days because jumping into the brisk river whenever you want is nature’s best bath.
10) Notice that your decision fatigue has disappeared because you’re living out of a dry bag and life is just simpler on the river.
11) Slip ‘n slide into the river on an upside-down raft and a kid-like euphoria takes over your body.
12) Peek out of your tent in the middle of the night and are awed by the brilliance of the Milky Way sprawled out above because you’ve never seen it so clearly before.
This is what it’s all about on the river. All these little moments that add up to one unforgettable adventure that will stick with you long after you unpack your bags—maybe even a lifetime.
Do you have a favorite moment from a river trip? Share with us below.
Photos: Waterfall on the Rogue River – Cindi Stephan; Rogue River camp – Kenny Hamlett; Kicking back on an inflatable kayak – Chaco; Gates of Lodore Slip ‘n Slide fun – Cari Morgan