In honor of St. Valentine and his feast day we have our own little Valentine for you: A sappy, saccharine blog for lovers, a list of the most romantic river activities for you and your sweetheart (yes, we know that it’s a few days AFTER Valentine’s Day, but sometimes that happens when you go with the flow).
Take some time together at the Yampa-Green confluence
At the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers you can see a spectacular union. The silty, muddy waters of the Yampa River flow into the crystalline ocean-green waters of the Green River (If you want to geek out about why these two rivers have such different sedimentary compositions you can read about it here!).
Stop in Echo Park and then hike up to a vantage point. There, you and your lover can contemplate the waters coming together, much like your two lives have come together to make one spectacular flowing river. This spot is so romantic that we even had a few couples get married there!
Strengthen your bond in rough and wild waters
A relationship is kind of like a tree. When people have tried to grow trees in a biosphere they’ve found that the trees can’t even mature before collapsing under their own weight. Trees, it turns out, actually can’t grow without a little bit of pressure pushing against them from the wind. This pressure strengthens the bark of the tree and allows it to grow to maturity. How many relationships have you seen fall down under their own weight because they didn’t learn to deal with pressure?
One of the best ways to strengthen the bark of your love is to do adventurous, difficult, and fun things together. Big, wild, whitewater rapids are the perfect thing. Head down Cataract or Westwater with your love and get used facing rough water together. It may be a bit scary, but you’ll definitely come out the other side to smooth waters and big smiles.
Sneak away in some inflatable kayaks for a couples float.
There’s nothing more flirtatious than a little mischief. Sneak away from your group and explore the currents on your own. There is something magical about untethering from the raft and piloting your own adventure. It gives you the freedom to check out a romantic side stream or a particularly alluring ‘eddie’; sneak a kiss behind some tall grassess…
Take a spa day along the San Juan
People will pay a real hefty sum to get mud thrown onto them in the spa. But if you raft with us down the San Juan, you and your love can get your very own mud baths for free!
Sinking into a tub of mud is relaxing, good for your skin, and, most importantly, very fun (something every child seems to instinctively know). The fine, mineral rich silts along the edge of the San Juan river are prime mud bath territory. You and your sweetie can wrestle around and then relax in the warm, healing river bank. If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is!
Go with the flow of your own internal river
One of the most powerful parts of any river trip comes not from the beautiful red-rock sites or the huge, whitewater rapids, but from your own internal experience. When you take time away from your job, your email, and your social obligations it opens up time for reflection, relaxation, and realignment.
When the chatter in our heads dies down, we get an opportunity to see ourselves and those around us in a more full, generous way. There’s no better gift we could give to our relationships than to take the time and space to see each other more fully, to speak and listen to each other without stressful events and time constraints. The river gives us the time and the space to fall in love again.
Easton Smith is a Local Wasatch Front resident and writer. He spends his time community organizing, rock-climbing and playin’ some mean banjo. For more writing from Easton, check out his organizing collective’s blog “Brine Waves” here or stay tuned for future loggings in River Currents.