RIVER BANKS

Low water on the San Juan

(American Whitewater Journal Fall 2021)

If you are lucky enough to score a permit on Utah’s San Juan River, you shouldn’t, we decided, cancel the trip simply because the flow is minimal. No, we realized later—despite countless disembarkments to push or pull watercraft off sand heaves, cobble strands, and rock bars—when you win that San Juan permit, you go. You sort and pack your gear in northern Washington, snowbanks flanking the truck you load with raft and rigging, and you drive southeast, through rain and Ponderosa Pine to red dirt and slot canyons. When you get that permit, you go. 

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Where the rubber meets the rock

(American Whitewater Journal Spring 2020)

Perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky that in something like 130 collective years and thousands of collective river miles, my siblings, our spouses, and I had never before experienced a punctured raft. After all, we'd wrapped canoes, pinned kayaks, and lost paddles. Wasn't popping a raft an inevitable component of river running? Somehow for us, thus far, it had not been. 

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Old friends, new connections

(American Whitewater Journal Winter 2017)

July 20th, 2016, 1:45am, Hammer Creek launch on the Lower Salmon River. The white lights of a minivan illuminate our tent. The kids don’t even roll over, but my husband Jon and I wake up. “I think it’s them,” he whispers.

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Three generations on the Salmon River

(Samata Magazine 2015)

Fourteen hours after our arrival at Hammer Creek on Idaho’s Salmon River, we are afloat: four rafts, two SUPs, 10 adults ranging in age from 42 to 72, and seven kids ages 4 through 11. Just Grandma and Grandpa, their offspring, the spouses, the grandkids and eight cases of Sierra Nevada River Ryed IPA. Bright skies, warm water and 73 miles of Class II-III whitewater lie ahead. Bliss.

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