"And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the end of the strain, it's the joy in your heart"
Upon return from my most recent wilderness outings, prior to this trip, I had come home with little emotion surrounding the trip. There were moments in those trips where I felt empowered and called to act but the feelings would not last and carry back into my "normal life". It was the frequency and regularity of my trips. The novelty was gone. The experience became mundane.
It has been a long time since I came back from a trip and felt the way I do now. There are feelings of hope and the promise of something new. The river changed me this time. Her cool waters washed away my anxieties and left me with a clear mind. It meandered through my soul and deposited the sediment of a new perspective. I hope it gains force as it flows, rivulets add to the river and the channel widens. May it run deep and far until it reaches the ocean and a new life.
Outside of the changed state in my psyche I have returned this time as a stronger and more skilled outdoorsman. I had the opportunity to learn basic wilderness medicine and received my Wilderness First Aid training and certification along with CPR and AED certification. This basic medical training has barely whet my appetite for more knowledge and ability.
Following my basic backcountry medical training I was given the opportunity to work with a great group of 42 other students as we were taught the necessary skills of river guiding on an eight man raft. We ran the Nantahala River, French Broad and a few of us took some time in stick on the mighty Ocoee River. All of this was done in the anticipation of a job offer with our instructors at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. We all may not be hired but the team work and community we built together was worth the time and effort.
The nature of this trip has kept me from being able to detail each day as I was invested in gaining an education. Enjoy the pictures and hopefully this is the beginning of my summer of the river.
|Endeavor gets her first snow!!|
|Will, the head instructor and master raft guide decided to stand up paddle a duckie for the Nantahala River fun run...|
|... He took a good line but couldn't hold it..|
|And how could I forget a picture of the Monkey Man!|