By Haley Strand
- Your Chaco tan lines are still visible the next summer
- You constantly say, “That’s not how we do it on the river.”
- Your ammo can is a decorative piece in your home
- Bugs don’t bother you; in fact, you welcome them
- You have a river related tattoo
- You wear your Chacos with socks during the winter time
- OR you wear your Chacos WITHOUT socks regardless of the temperature in the winter
- You constantly ask yourself if it’s warm enough to sleep under the stars
- Your sleeping bag sounds more appealing than your bed
- There is a homemade star-filled ceiling in your bedroom
- You prefer dinners on the grill over a five-star restaurant
- You have a dog named “River”
- You have more water resistant, quick drying clothes than normal clothes
- Your sarong collection is 20 pieces deep
- You dream of red canyons
- You make rapids in the bath tub
- You have planned out your trips two summers in advance
- You have a “whitewater rafting” savings account
- You scream “Hot coffee!” in your house at 6am
- You keep sand in your backyard to get your daily fix
- Your lifejacket is hanging in your closet
- Sunscreen is the first thing you put on in the morning
- You have named your children “river names”
- You recruit everyone and anyone to get out on the river
- The majority of your sentences begin with, “When we were on the river….”
Do you relate to one or maybe more of these symptoms? Fear not, we do too. Rafting brings out the best side of people, so why not hang on to that all year round? Sure, it might be too cold to get out in the rapids in December, but the spirit of rafting can stay with you all year. There is always prep and planning for your next trip, so get on it!
Never hide your inner river rat self, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Share your river secrets with friends and family. Always promote what you love. Bringing friends and family on the river will just help grow the river running community. Winter can be a sad time for river rats if you don’t have a cold weather hobby such as skiing. Whether you are an avid skier or an avid stay-home-and-drink-hot-cocoa person during those winter months, rest assured that rafting reason isn’t too far away.
No matter what winter activities you love, the early spring and summer months are ones to look forward to. Yes, Utah may have the best snow on earth, but we have some dang good rivers too.
At just under 5 years old, Haley took her first river trip with Holiday River Expeditions and has been rafting with them ever since. Haley is now 23 years old with a bachelors degree in Communications from the University of Utah. A newcomer in the marketing industry with a bright future ahead. When she isn’t working, she is working out or playing with her pups Stella and Stuey. She loves playing in the beautiful mountains and rivers of Utah but her other love is mother ocean, from Baja California to St. Croix, Maine and the Carolinas. Haley is a true water baby at heart.