How do you go about beginning to wrap your thoughts around an incredible trip in true wilderness with strangers who become close friends? Another amazing Survive & Thrive trip with YD Adventures in the books! (to learn more about our story and why we created Survive & Thrive Expeditions, check out the link here) Mikey and I arrived back home late Saturday night and then spent all day unpacking and cleaning gear, getting set to jump back into the work week. It was an amazing time away and it’s always surreal to leave the wilderness and come back to “real life,” and we’ve spent a long time already debriefing the trip and thinking through our experiences.
To go from not knowing each other and experiencing those awkward conversations in the car on the drive to the river to constantly chatting into the night even though people are tired and we’re waking up at 6 am shows what a change we went through as a group. The community was amazing, real, and deep; the weather pretty good (despite several STRONG headwinds throughout the day which made for a hard finish to end the day!); the conversations honest; the group amazing paddlers! That made for a much more relaxed time for us as guides and gave us so much more energy to invest in the group – what a gift to us!
There were great morning paddles, the beauty of the Green Dragon Canyon, and some beautiful hikes:
I loved the group dynamics despite not knowing in the beginning how much the group would mesh – it was an eclectic group of varied ages and personalities and I loved watching the group come together. There were some sun burns (my lips in particular – worst burn I think I’ve ever had! But it made me feel a bit hardcore, truth be told), some cold mornings, and a few scrapes and cuts, but overall we left unscathed and proud of our war wounds.
Although there were a few cold mornings and wet suit wearings, it was overall pleasant and warm – the Owyhee River weather we know and love! Here are a few snapshots of life around camp and on the river:
The best part? Sharing our lives with one another and honestly opening up to reflect on our own stories and then sharing them with one other. What a blessing to be a part of each other’s lives and being privileged to listen to one another.
All in all, words can’t convey what an incredible experience we had together and it’s hard to put on paper what a life-changing trip it was. At the same time, photos can convey so much beauty and video can give you a glimpse of our time with one another (warning: it’s long as it was made and meant for those on the trip, so if you don’t have the time for the full feature, skip to minute 13 – that’s where the end of the video starts and you can see mine and Mikey’s party trick at the end). It’s good to be home but I’m enjoying reminiscing and look forward to keeping in touch with the group and to future trips!
Thanks to Colin and Ryan for being great fellow guides and trip leaders and to the whole group for trusting us to come on an unknown adventure and open up to share your lives with us and each other. What a special and meaningful time we had together! May you transition as smoothly back to your work and school and family lives as you did from the city to the river, from working to kayaking, and may you continue to write a good story.
Live well & be well friends! (it’s good to be back) 😉