This coming Saturday I’ll be getting up at 4 am (an hour I think shouldn’t exist) to catch a plane. It’s West Water – 5 days on the Colorado River with nothing tethering me but sky and water. My phone shut off and locked in the truck, internet a useless invention next to fire. Pack in, Pack out.
The water will be colder this time around, so think dry thoughts and heavy highsides in the rapids. Last year, we flipped and I felt firsthand how quickly a river could overtake a body. In 5 minutes, I’d never been so exhausted – the numerous things you have to remember with a thousand pounds of pressure bulldozing you forward: feet up, pointed downstream, on your back at all times, backstroke only, get to the shore as quickly as you can. It sounds easy in a list like that. But I remember some part of me wanting to ride the rapids out – at eye level, the water hypnotized me and it wasn’t until I heard someone yelling “GET TO THE SHORE” that I pumped my arms backwards harder than I’ve ever had to fight before.
Some people have told me that this trip is their worst nightmare – completely isolated in the wilderness for 5 days. But for me it’s a chance to reset, find my basic life, my basic self, cut the dying strands and grow.

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