I love the chance to see places that hardly anyone ever sees. Not big places like the Grand Canyon, but places or even rivers nobody even knows exist. I love traveling to places off of the beaten path, shuttle roads like the confluence of the Bruneau and Jarbidge rivers.
I love the challenge of whitewater. I've never been a cutting edge boater. I have many miles under my belt, but I know many who dare to do much harder stuff than I would attempt. That's fine, the challenge I take on the river is mine and mine alone. I enjoy all class of river. I got bored with the John Day last spring, but the canyon it sets in is an amazing place full of history and wildlife. (I saw more sheep there than I have in my entire life this trip!) I wouldn't have changed a thing. The Rogue is an awesome place, and I am still debating whether I am ready to commit to an Illinois trip.
I have always been into 4x4's and Jeeps. We had 2 Jeeps we did trail rides in until we had my son almost 7 years ago. By his first year, both of them had been sold. I sold my IK's by his 2nd year. I took some time to decide which I wanted to do again when finances allowed. Even though I still want a Jeep again, I decided on getting a raft. WW is a much more eco friendly lifestyle, and the return on $500 dollar river gear is much higher than $500 in Jeep parts. Legitimate Jeep trails take maintenance and political alliance, and if I commit to run those trails on public land I would also have to commit to trail upkeep in hopes of keeping and opening more trails. The fight to maintain river access and removal of useless dams seems to be a much more noble fight. Dam removal would benefit more of the public than my want for muddy Jeep trails on public land. I also find that the worst rafters and kayakers do to the environment is much better than the worst off roaders do to the environment. I think even less people take their kids boating than people take their kids off roading, so my kids can be proud of that as they grow up, just like I am proud (and thankful) that my dad started taking me at 10 years old. I am also thankful for his friend Jeff, who got all of us involved in whitewater many years ago.
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...