If you follow our blog (and we hope you do, otherwise, who are we talking to?), you’ll know that we’ve written a few of these “Lessons You Learn…” type posts. Maybe it’s because we spend so much time in the outdoors pondering the universe and our place in it. Maybe it’s because they’re kinda fun to write. It’s probably a little bit of both. But just like our last few blogs, we’ll share some of the life lessons and profound insights we’ve learned while our whitewater rafting down the Salmon River.

Be Ready To Flip

When the wave train gets a little spicy and you hit a hole, your boat might decide it’s had enough abuse and flip you overboard. If you’ve prepared properly, your gear will stay in place on the raft, even upside down. Being ready to flip also means having a throw bag and flip line ready to go so you can get back to paddling ASAP.

We can make sure our lives are ready for a flip by checking the rigging that holds it all together. Don’t skimp on little details and practice good discipline. That means making sure your car gets an oil change every 3,000 miles. It means booking that annual dental check up. It also means keeping some money in savings. But when your life does flip, make sure you have a throw bag and flip line at the ready. Good friends are there to help you through even the toughest situation. Be grateful that people are looking out for you.

Listen Carefully To Your Guide

When whitewater rafting down the Salmon, your guide from Killgore Adventures will be well-acquainted with the twists and turns of the river. While they’re always going to be upbeat and excited about the trip, there will be times where they will ask you to focus in and follow their directions. Listening carefully to them will help your raft enter the green tongue and nail that line without issue.

In life too, it is important to listen to our guides. While rafting, it may be obvious who our guide is, we have many guides throughout our lives. It might be our parents, or a coworker. Friends, family, and even acquaintances have something to offer us. It’s important to take some time and listen to them every now and then. While they may not be telling you anything as important as how to avoid a boulder in the middle of a wave, they might have some wisdom to share with you that can improve the quality of your life.

You Never Know What’s Around the Bend

The Salmon river meanders its way through much of Hells Canyon, and different sections present different challenges. While you can always take out on a sandy shore and scout ahead, even with careful observation, you still have to navigate the tricky rapids ahead of you, and that’s going to be far different than what you saw. It’s always a good idea to learn about your trip as much as you can before you start. Pour over maps and read notes from other river runners to help inform your decisions. While you’ll still run into unexpected encounters, you’ll be better prepared. And when those encounters catch you off guard, you learn and grow as a result of the experience.

The same can be said for life. Ultimately, we don’t know what each day will bring us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t greet each day with courage and tolerance. We can work to minimize the challenges we face by preparing ourselves. We can invest in our talents, and identify our weaknesses to turn them into strengths. We may not know what’s around the bend, but we can rest easy in the knowledge that we have the skills and the strength needed to go boldly into the unknown.

Everyone experiences a multi-day whitewater river rafting trip differently. Some love it for the thrills they offer while others see it as a profoundly introspective moment. Whatever you want from your rafting excursion down the Salmon River, you can find it on a trip with Killgore Adventures. Book your next outing today!