This is a photo of my family; my daughter, husband and I. We are sitting atop a 32 foot motor boat and the view behind is of the Colorado River and of Marble Canyon. It is an upstream view from Lee’s Ferry where private and commercial river trips launch their multi-day river trips down the Colorado River and into Marble Canyon and eventually into the Grand Canyon. The photo was taken this past May and it is the day before my husband and I launch on an 8 day river trip with a group of folks from Road Scholars. It is a very special day because it is my daughter’s first boat ride. It is her first and most likely not her last time atop a boat (motorized or raft powered) on a river in the southwest. She is wearing a life jacket that I found at the local Goodwill store and paid $5.99, and I was delighted to see the remnants of what seemed like San Juan River mud caked to the jacket. It was an indication that the previous wearer of the jacket used it to its full potential until he or she grew out of it. And that is what I hope for my daughter – to use the jacket as much as she can on river trips and learning to enjoy and respect water.
I love this photo because it is our daughter’s first time on a motor rig and why are we proud of that? In way we are passing along our love for guiding, boating and being on and around water to her. With us river guides, it is a our delusional way of initiating or introducing our child to a world we have lived in for more than two decades. Our friend, Jeff, drove us up and down the river and allowed us to enjoy this family moment that wouldn’t probably happen for another year (when we’d do another trip). It was slightly windy with the gusts occasionally spraying water on us, and when that happened my daughter would squeal with delight and we’d roar with our own laughter and glee at the sound and sight of her. This photo gives a small view of our love for each other and our daughter. I am asking her for a kiss, my husband encouraging her to do so, but my daughter is in a mischievous mood and is considering whether she should grant me a kiss. Plain and simple, it is a photo of happiness and love.
My husband and I have been, collectively, commercial river guides for over 20 years, with my husband doing the longer stretch of time and on more rivers in the entire West coast. The funny thing is that we did not meet on the river but rather we worked for the same river company and we had mutual friends, and connected at mutual gatherings. In a significant way, water brought us together. We were friends for eight years before we began dating, and next Wednesday, October 17 is our four year anniversary. Stay Tuned….