Thank you seems to small.
Only eight letters to express the rivers of gratitude to each of you. It’s laughable that eight would be enough, for without you our lives as river guides would be undeniably different. Let me explain.
Each of you that travels down the river, allows us to live and breathe in this amazing national monument. To feel the tug of flowing water on oars every day, to smell like sunscreen and sweat for months on end, and gasp at desert vistas in every moment. By coming on a river trip you allow us to live the way we wish to live. But more importantly you allow us to feel that we are bigger than ourselves, a part of a history in Dinosaur National Monument while guiding on the Green River and Yampa River.
Each of us become a river guide for a shallow reason, something like: we went on fun vacations with our family as kids, whitewater is a thrill, or even just the novelty of being a river guide. Every guide will admit it, but the reason we stay river guides is because of you. As guides grow more sun crusted we learn more about the river and its surroundings; where different petroglyphs are, who the first person to raft the river solo was, where a dam was almost built and how it was stopped, and the story of the Powell expeditions first trip.
Without knowing it, each time we repeat these stories and facts to you, they become part of our personal history. None of us were on the Powell expedition boating down the Green River Gates of Lodore, but somehow that expedition is as much a part of my history as riding bikes with my brother as a child. Each time we share the river rafting experience of Dinosaur National Monument with you, it becomes our home and its characters our family.
As time goes on, we make our own history: a upside down boat used as a slip ’n slide at Wild Mountain campsite, a guest that cried because they were so grateful to have their family together, a kid dance party on the boat on the windiest day of the summer. And as John Wesley Powell did, you become part of who we are, a character of the river and part of our family. For you, this river trip may be once in a lifetime, but for us, this trip is life, and you are the reason for it.
Thank you for allowing us to create a home and a family here. Thank you for allowing us to love our fellow guides and bosses like we do our own parents and families. Thanks to our families for supporting our unconventional career choices and understanding that the reason we are here, is to connect with a deeper part of ourselves, to become droplets in a massive river system. Thank you for allowing us to feel simultaneously insignificant and vitality important to the universe.
Thank you for letting us share our home and family with you.
In return for completely changing our lives and the way we view ourselves, we give you eight letters. Not nearly enough, but perhaps you will feel that the eight letters we give you, are bigger and so much more important than just letters.
The Dinosaur River Expedition Guides
When you do
You feel a
In you, a joy.