What does a river guide do when Arctic Wild’s busiest summer ever comes to an end? Dinner and a movie? No. Luxurious hotel and spa? Nope.
He goes rafting with his family of course.
Just as soon as Arctic Wild’s last trip of the summer wrapped up in mid-September, We (Michael, Sally and our two young boys) headed to southern Utah for 11 days of warm weather boating. Out of long arctic habit I packed far too many warm clothes but otherwise the transition from the tundra to the desert was seamless. Thanks to Utah’s rainy summer and fall, the desert was in bloom and the river was high.
After a summer of guiding groups of 2 or 4 people in the vastness of Alaska’s wilderness, I’ll admit I was concerned that our mob of three Alaska families including 7 kids was going to feel like a crowd. But watching children learning the rhythm of the desert and the language of the river was pure joy. We saw dozens of Desert Bighorn Sheep, countless lizards of many stripes, and even caught a glimpse of a black bear deep in the river’s canyons. Swimming in the side-canyons, marveling at sandstone walls covered with petroglyphs and early morning birding hikes rounded out a very relaxing and rejuvenating trip.
Great trip and good to be back in Alaska watching fall turn to winter; busy planning for the 2014 summer season.