SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Feb. 4, 2020 – Holiday River Expeditions is augmenting the thrill of the rapids with the arts of, among others, watercolor painting, songwriting and stargazing on some of its 2020 river rafting departures.

“We’re passionate about helping people connect to the wild world they discover out on the river. We create programs around such pulse points as yoga, music and art that invite participants to fling themselves into this new and inspiring environment,” said Lauren Wood, Holiday’s Trip Director.

Following are new specialty trip offerings for the 2020 season:

Women’s Watercolor Workshop on the San Juan River for five days, May 14-18, at $1,450. Artist Suze Woolf and Bears Ears advocate Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk will join this departure. During informal outdoor sessions, Suze Woolf, whose art often considers environmental concerns, will introduce foundational watercolor methods with daily demonstrations of how to create watercolor memories of this stunning landscape. Watercolor is one of the most rapid and portable of all painting media, so it’s perfect for a raft trip. Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk is the former co-chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. She will share stories about the collaborative tribal work to form Bears Ears National Monument, its significance to tribal communities and the continued effort to reinstate and protect the monument. See: https://www.bikeraft.com/specialty-trips/womens-watercolor-workshop-on-the-san-juan-river/

Songwriting Workshop with folk singer Cosy Sheridan on the Lower San Juan River for four days, May 23-26 (Memorial Weekend), at $1,175. This songwriter, guitarist, singer and teacher will lead creative writing games and talks about works-in-process and about the craft of writing and living a creative life. She was a voice student at Berklee College of Music and a guitar student of legendary finger style players Eric Schoenberg and Guy Van Duser. She has played at Carnegie Hall, The Cowgirl Hall of Fame and on the Jerry Lewis Telethon. While she serves as muse for voices and inspiration, Holiday manages all of the logistics so that guests are free to let the canyon and river inform creativity. The river has a song, too. It sings in the voice of the canyon wren and the yellow-breasted chat. It murmurs in secret harmony beneath the rafts and along the sand and rock banks. See: https://www.bikeraft.com/utah-white-water-rafting/songwriting-workshop-on-the-lower-san-juan-river

Retro River Rafting with Roy Webb on the Yampa River for five days, June 5-9, at $1,130. Roy Webb has written five books on river running history. Through his eyes and ears guests will imbibe more than a half century of river lore, dating to 1966 when Holiday River Expeditions became the realization of founder Dee Holladay’s dreams. “In 54 years we have innovated past our roots and constantly looked to refine our practices. That said, we want to bring back the good old-fashioned fun stuff: Sierra cups, Chuck-Taylors, cut-off jean shorts and more!” said Wood. “Don’t worry. There are still going to be plenty of creature comforts from the 21st century: propane stoves for reliable cooking, waist-high tables, buckets and bags instead of rocket-boxes, fire-pits and blankets to clean-up after ourselves, and many other leave-no-trace policies that were instituted, in part with experimentation and help from Dee Holladay. See: https://www.bikeraft.com/specialty-trips/retro-river-rafting-on-the-yampa-river-w-roy-webb/

Cataract Canyon Riverkeeper Trip with John Weisheit for five days, July 6-10, 2020, at $1,300. Cataract Canyon has stood the test of time as not only a favorite rafting destination, gaining notoriety every year, but also the test of geologic time through flood cycles, droughts, the era of dam builders and the ongoing fight for the life of the Colorado River. This place has a story to tell like no other. Spend five days relaxing and adventuring enhanced with the richness of The Colorado Riverkeeper’s wisdom. John Weisheit learns by doing, gets into the fieldwork, consults with the experts and learns from his mistakes. This humility has made him an understated expert of all things river-related. Listen to John tell his story of great floods, ancient canyons and harrowing titans who fight to save these magical places. In John’s words, “Plants and animals can readily adapt to nature’s cycles. They can often survive extreme droughts and floods and actually prosper after these events occur. But humans aren’t in that cycle; we have removed ourselves from it. If we were still connected to it we would be more prepared for what is to come next as climate change impacts our world.” See: https://www.bikeraft.com/specialty-trips/cataract-canyon-riverkeeper-trip-with-john-weisheit/

Lodore Canyon History Trip with Andrew Gulliford on the Green River for four days, Aug. 11-14, at $1,035. Gates of Lodore is the perfect place to take a peek at river history. Dr. Andrew Gulliford’s historical interpretation will bring this magnificent canyon to even greater life. He has spent over 20 years talking to people about human histories from the edge of a raft. He delights, he says, in “talking about the history of the Native Americans, minors, prospectors, pioneers and the battle-ground of the 20th century dam-wars in camp around a fire in the very places these stories unfolded.” Whether photographing remote Ancestral Puebloan sites on the Colorado Plateau, hiking the Lewis and Clark trail in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho or searching for 19th century mining camps high in the Colorado Rockies, this author-photographer-historian adds perspective to some of the most exciting landscapes in the American West. Based out of Durango, Colorado, he has served on the National Register Review Board for the State of Colorado and he chairs a local historical commission. He also has a federal appointment to the Southwest Colorado Resources Advisory Council of the Bureau of Land Management. See: https://www.bikeraft.com/specialty-trips/lodore-canyon-history-trip-with-andrew-gulliford/

Labyrinth & Cataract Canyon 10-Day Stargazing Trip on the Green River Sept. 10-19 at $2,025. During the day there will be time aplenty for exploring hidden side canyons and ancient Pueblo structures in the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Highlights include hiking to the Dollhouse, enjoying the depths of Dark Canyon and not to be forgotten the raging whitewater of Cataract Canyon. Come night, however, is another story, as this trip overlaps a dark-night sky for epic stargazing. Canyonlands was certified as a “Dark Sky Park” back in 2017 by the International Dark Sky Association.  See: https://www.bikeraft.com/specialty-trips/fall-extended-hiking-trip-stargazing/

For more details on Holiday’s specialty river trip program please see: https://www.bikeraft.com/specialty-trips/