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Old 04-20-2011   #31
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
Tears. I have them.

Very cool.

Never get out of the boat
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Old 04-20-2011   #32
LeftOfCenter's Avatar
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: '05
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 82
Family Stories

When you asked for how the river brings families together, I had to share this:

I grew up in Virginia and my husband in the suburbs of Chicago. We met and fell in love on/with the rivers of Colorado guiding for a summer camp. When we got engaged, we planned a three night Ruby/HT/Westy trip to bring our future in-laws together. This seemed like a really brilliant way to introduce our families to each other, as well as acquaint them with our passion for life on the rivers.

Neither one of our families are even proficient at car camping. To them, camping was renting a cabin with a fridge and running water. Also, this was the very first trip we had run with all our own gear as trip leaders.
After we spent all our summer savings on last minute gear that you don't realize you still need after you already spent hundreds on all the gear you need, we got everyone together and put in at Loma.

By the first night, my husband and I had had to give away all our personal gear to the point of sleeping on my crazy creek for a sleeping pad and one fleecy Ninja Turtles lap blanket over the both of us. The nights were a little chilly, but at least it was August, so we could huddle against the blackrock if we got desperate.

Another thing we realized was that even though we were worried about impressing future in-laws, we could not have packed enough booze. The second day, my mother-in-law snuck up to our friend (who we brought along to guide the other boat) and desperately inquired as to how he had procured a margarita.

It did end up being a memory that none of us will forget, and highlighted the fact that we are both lucky to come from wonderful, understanding, and forgiving families. No one fought, and only my then-teenage sister pouted briefly when we had to eat lunch on a shadeless beach in 110 degrees.

Haha, I remember my husband and I agreed to take only our own parents on the boats the day of the actual rapids because we both realized that it would be far better to hate ourselves for making our mothers swim Sock-it than to hate each other.

Yeah, great memories, but next time, we'll only do a one-nighter.

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Old 04-20-2011   #33
Winter Park/Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8
That was a great video! Gotta get dad on the water! Thanks!
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Old 04-20-2011   #34
malloypc's Avatar
Albany, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Originally Posted by kazak4x4 View Post
...The song I picked, I think summarizes a lot of dads out there. We are all too busy making money and providing for our families, until it's too late and our kids not wanting to spend time with us. I am glad my father took the time and was able to get away with me. ...Alex
Harry Chapin was one of the best - I just hated that song because of the guilt I felt.
I was able to make up for some of that with my son on his 32nd birthday with a Rogue River Fathers Day weekend trip.
Here I took him over Rainie (and told him to stay in the boat):
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Old 04-20-2011   #35
BackCountry's Avatar
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 86
Rafting definitely brings all generations of families together. My dad (now 71) almost never misses a trip. He is still and avid skier, mtn biker and boater. He lives halfway cross the country from me but is working on semi-retirement and part time living with my family. He even makes at least half of the weekend Westwater trips. My mom (also 71) who is terrified of the water even did a Loma through Westwater trip with us this last summer while out here for Cattleman's Week. I have never even seen her swim in my entire life. Her first time on a raft, she got to the Loma put in and said there was no way she was going down that river or getting in the boat. Two hours later she was in the double ducky with my dad having a great time. She simply loved the 4 days on the river and loved the rapids in Westwater! She didn't have a clue that every boat on the trip almost flipped! She just smiled and laughed and thought it was great! Between Westwater and Cattleman's days she said that week ranked up there as being one of the best of her life.

My 14 year old daughter has been baby sitting the adults for years now on the river. She rigs the boats, sets up camp and cooks most dinners as everyone is too incapacitated to get anything done by that time of the day. At 13 she had soloed Desolation/Grays at 23,000 cfs in a double ducky with a friend of hers. Soloed Westwater in a ducky - eaten by Skull and tossed back into the boat with her paddle still in hand to paddle over the top of the wave - same trip as my mom's first raft trip. She has been rowing many of the groups gear boats through Class IV whitewater for several years and takes the oars when injuries incapasitate captains for the remainder of the trip.
This last fall we all pitched in and got her a Maxi-Me with oar frame of her own. She has already soloed it down Westwater and done a week long trip on the San Juan. She will be taking it down Desolation/Grays this spring at peak water for the first time. This was the best investment any of us have ever made. Now ALL the kids ride on her boat and the parents are left to themselves and have adult time for the first time in 14 years! If we had known this would have been the result we would have gotten her her own boat sooner! You will see her on the Gunnison all summer long - her boat has a pink KC with a dragon fly painted on both ends. One of the most natural river readers any of us have ever seen.

Now we have 3 generations of family and lots of close friends on every trip. Typically once a year my brothers join us with their families also. Every trip is an incredible family adventure and the rest of our crew have also become family over the years. The experiences really help my kids grow and mature. My youngest has got camp set up dialed and helps everyone set up their tents and get settled. My daughter journals every trip. I told her to write a book of our adventures and call it A Diary Of A 13 Year Old River Rat. There are many tales to tell - she is always the last one to bed so she misses NOTHING! Quite and education for a young lady.
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Old 04-21-2011   #36
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GF, Montana
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 95
That vid was a pleasure to watch. I've had the good fortune to be able to bring both my mom and dad on trips. I'm in my 40's and they're in their 70's. They were in the front of the boat holding hands and laughing like teenagers... I hope I get to be like that with my wife and my son pushin' the oars someday...
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Old 04-21-2011   #37
Crested Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 82
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 201
Great video! Mine is one more family thats been boating together with great results.
My son is 15 now, and lots of fun to boat with.
Here is a little vid from our April 13 westwater trip. Thats me and my boy in the paddle cat.
Thats Fred from scenic river tours with the flip and yard sale at sock it to me.

Backcounty, We'll keep an eye for the KC dragonfly this summer. Our kids may like to find other boaters their age to hang with. My kid is Kyle Boyle, on the face book links from here.
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Old 04-21-2011   #38
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Rob great video thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-21-2011   #39
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
Good on ya' mate! Looks like your dad had a great time. Wonderful birthday present from his son.
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Old 04-21-2011   #40
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
I have rafted plenty with my dad but it's kind of cheating as he started a river rafting company when I was 13. I grew up as a guide and both of my sisters worked in the industry too. My mom was the glue that held the company together.
Some father/son highlights:

He took me on my first trip on the Rogue River when I was 10. Rained the entire trip but I loved it.

He had me rowing at 13 and guiding at 14 (those were the OLD days!). BUT, he had other guides teach me instead of him. Probably a wise move.

We've run rivers all over the place together but one of the highlights was the Grand Canyon in 2008 when he was 80. He ran his own boat the entire time, with passengers. He may have had the cleanest lines on the trip! He definitely had the best stories.

He wants to do a solo GC trip at 85 (if he can get the permit). I really hope it happens for him. He's 83 now.

I've taught my son to row and he's taken guide training and has done the GC and the Main Salmon and other trips. He's 21 now and constantly bugging me to get him on another GC trip. Hey son, if you're reading this, get on the list! He's awesome and I'm sorry we sold our company back in the '80's as I would have loved to given him the opportunities my dad gave me.

Rivers are the life blood of my family and it's a priveledge I'm extremely grateful for and humbled by.

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