Entering a new year is an exciting thing – marking the coming 365 days, full of endless possibilities, opportunities that we may not yet know exist and adventures that are bound to happen. We’ll meet new people who will change our lives and go places that will change how we look at things. From foreign countries to river canyons, the Wet Planet Family is already embarking on adventures to take us into the new year. Look to some of our staff for inspiration in your coming year as they share the journeys they have planned and goals they’ve set.
I’m most looking forward to spending time on the Main Salmon River this spring and summer, and working on perfecting my self-support system for my kayak (for multi-day trips). I also think we’re bringing together a really amazing team for our 2018 season, with lots of returning staff and some great new personalities joining the crew.
I’m going on the Grand Canyon in a month to start off 2018 (Woahhhh!) I’m excited about doing this trip again-The last time I did a Grand trip was in 2007, before I was a river guide, so I’m looking forward to seeing everything from a new perspective. I’m also excited to row about this time. I’m a little nervous about the trip being so long – 25 days. It’s been 7 or 8 years since I’ve been on such a long expedition, so it’ll take some getting used to.
My goal for the coming year is one I’ve been sticking to for the last 3 or 4, which is to go paddling at least once every month of the year. I’d also like to step up my kayaking a little and get into the Farmlands, the Wind, and Canyon Creek.
I’m currently down in Southern Ecuador with Higgins and Austin, exploring new rivers. I’m really excited to see what we find down here – The Andes are very steep and remote so finding new stretches of river requires hours of homework. 2018 will also be the year that I finally make the journey north to run the Grand Canyon of the Stikine! It’s been on my list for a couple of years now. I’m hoping to strengthen friendships and create new ones in the new year, and can’t wait to grow a killer garden full of yummy fruits and veggies when I get back to the States!
To start the new year off, I’m heading down to Ecuador with some of the Wet Planet crew. I’m looking forward to challenging myself with rivers that are unknown to us in the States, and to test my paddling skills with constantly paddling class 4 and 5. This coming season I’m really excited about doing multi-day trips on the Owyhee and Main Salmon River with Wet Planet. I also can’t wait to start guiding on our Class V rivers – the Farmlands, the Wind, and the Hood River! A few of my goals for 2018 are to get more involved with river rescue training, and to get my kayaking instructor certification as well.
One of my adventures that I’m most looking forward to this year is goat yoga! I’m also feeling inspired to get in my kayak more in 2018 after an amazing trip on the Lower Salmon this past summer. Hold me accountable – I’m going to kayak the lower once a week and finally get a freaking roll!! I also want to R2 something new with Devin, hop in a raft with Katie and Seamus, and raft and ducky the Main Salmon River. I’m excited to participate in a River Rescue Course with my favorite instructors and getting really good at tying knots!
The Main Salmon River is a big exciting adventure for all of us at Wet Planet and me personally in 2018. I am excited about spending time and personally learning and experiencing it, but also to share it with my friends and family from Holland for whom these type of experiences are such a new and unknown territory since we don’t have anything like this in Europe.
I’m most excited to spend a month exploring the Grand Canyon with friends, learning new things about myself, and just disconnecting a bit. I’m also excited to get to row for a month; it’s my first love and the one place I truly feel like I belong. I am a bit nervous about the potential for harsh conditions and being out of contact for several weeks though. I’m also beginning the planning stages for an excursion to Africa at some point in 2018, where I’m looking forward to experiencing a new culture and getting back to a simpler way of life.
A few of my goals in 2018 are to kayak the Little White Salmon, learn to play boat, and kayak the Zambezi River in Africa. I also want to make more of an effort to help people less fortunate than myself, to be more self-aware, write more, kayak more, and to help make kayaking and whitewater more approachable for others.
Going into the new year, I’ll be spending time in Uganda on the White Nile River. I am stoked to be there to paddle, however I am even more interested to spend time in a place where the river is in the process of being dammed and to be part of what might be the last Nile River Fest. I think it will be challenging to see the river be so changed, but a very interesting time and place to learn more about how people connect to rivers and how human interventions like dams impact that connection. In general, the next 6 months of my year of traveling and research for the Rivers, Peoples, & Dams project hold some incredible opportunities like paddling and exploring rivers in Uganda and the Balkans region, but also some pretty crazy challenges found in living and traveling in countries where I am unfamiliar with the language and the culture. One of my goals for this year is to continue to travel with confidence and humility and to continue to push myself to define what “productivity” in work and life means to me.
There are several adventures this year that I’m really excited about, but the grandest (pun totally intended) is the Grand Canyon trip that I’m going on later this month. We’ll be on the river for 25 days – by far my longest multi-day trip. I don’t know if there’s a specific part that I’m most looking forward to, I’m equally thrilled about the people I’ll be there with, being able to experience such an incredible region of our public lands, and just being totally immersed in nature for that long. I’m also excited/nervous about rowing a big gear boat…the last time I did that I ended up having a rapid named after me. My goals for this year are to get more involved in Wet Planet’s multi-day trips (especially our first season on the Main Salmon River!), First Descent programs, and to help make this year the best White Salmon River Fest yet! I also want to challenge myself to continue building skills sets for the things that I’m passionate about, to find ways to make a difference in people’s lives, and figuring out how I can best make a positive impact in the world and how to accomplish that. And of course, to keep writing 🙂
What goals and adventures would you like to find in 2018? If you’re still not sure, join us on one of our multi-day river trips this coming season to adventure in some of the most spectacular canyons around. There are few things like being immersed in nature and whitewater to help you foster new ideas, relationships, and to reflect on what is most important to you!