A couple weeks ago several friends and I loaded up and headed to Utah to float the Colorado River in a section called the Moab Daily. We arrived early so we could secure Onion Beach as our campsite for the night. It was such a beautiful beach with white sand surrounded by red sandstone cliffs. We spent the day lounging around our campsite, dipping in the river every few minutes to cool off in the 100 degree heat. There was an old movie set across the river from camp that we paddled over to to explore. It was pretty cool, an old open saloon set that we named Soggy Bottom Saloon. How cool would it be if there was actually a float-up saloon?
In the evening we made campers stew (with only one pocket knife!) and beergaritas and played badminton until it got too dark to see the birdie. Then we resorted to making up our own game in the moonlight, a version of baseball that involves an oar, a frisbee and silly rules like you have to sing the whole time you’re at bat and you’re out if you don’t dance whenever you get on base. We named it Riverball and it was SO fun. As it got later, we mellowed out and ended up laying shoulder to shoulder in the raft, staring at the stars and asking raft questions, some serious, some silly. Finally we all made our ways sleepily to our sleeping bags laid out side by side in the sand under the screen tent.
Heat comes early in the desert so we had coffee, granola bars and oatmeal and started to pack up. But first we had to clean up the remains from our party the night before. There were beer cans and Beergarita glasses everywhere! That day’s float was perfect. The river was full of raft companies ferrying people along… lots of foreigners who were staring wide-eyed at the beauty surrounding them. Some of the hired guides pulled up alongside us to admire Caleb’s raft. As the tourists stared, we all just lounged on the sides of the rafts, River pops hanging from our mouths, enjoying the heat and sunshine, taking pride in the fact that the river is a part of our lives, if only a small part.
The river is so low right now that there are barley any rapids at all but we did get to ride down one small one in our life jackets, leading the way as Caleb followed in the raft. I can’t help but feel so much delight in the river, especially when I’m surrounded by friends.
As we packed up the raft and headed home, we started to plan the next adventure on the water, wondering where we would go next and how epic we could make it the next time. Gosh, what a good summer it’s been. I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten to live so much LIFE lately and that I’ve been able to do it with people I love, people who I can laugh and laugh with. It’s so good to share life with each other.