Want to know just how special a river trip can be for a kid? Read on for a first-person account (complete with illustrations) of a trip with her family, put together by her father Andrew, down the Green River by 12-year-old Sarah Halperin…
Today was mainly just sitting in the car. My sister mostly slept on the drive and I watched some videos. We arrived at the put in and I made the sad discovery that we would not be putting in at that moment. We would actually put-in the next day. I did have fun though making mud pies with the younger kids. As I further explored the camp, I found some cabins – they looked really old. I opened the door and by the hinge, there was a nest of baby chipmunks. They had tiny noses and a bunch of little stripes down their backs. I didn’t want the mother (or the ranger) to get mad, so I crept off. I helped with dinner and preparing for the next day. As we struggled with sleeping arrangements (I wanted to sleep with other girls), my mother and father continued rigging. I especially liked it when Josh took all of us kids for a ride around the camp on his trailer. I eventually found a place to sleep and started to drift off thinking about getting on the river tomorrow all the while listening to the chatter from the younger girls and the pleads of quiet from the boys.
Day 1 – Onto the River
Today I woke up and grabbed a Pop tart for breakfast (I barely ever get Pop tarts so this was a treat) and I helped load the boat. We pushed off and I breathed in the smell of the river. I was SO excited to get going. Later in the day all of the kids boarded one of the boats and the one adult on the boat retreated, leaving me to take care of the 7 other kids and to row. They all seemed to listen to me and I must admit that we raided the dry box once (or twice). Ah, what a great day! It was a super long day on the river because whenever we got to a campsite, there were already some boats there. We finally got to a campsite – it was right after a rapid and was a hard pull to shore. We ate dinner then I hit the hay (HARD).
Day 2 – The Best Campsite (so far)
Since yesterday was a really long day (and since the water was really high so we moved really fast) we got to our camp around noon today. Since it was pretty hot out, I decided to go for a swim. I found it was super hard to control where I went in the water because of the high water. I used this really special soap that the river fish like and I washed my hair. Very refreshing! I found a tree that had these teeny little seeds and when you crack them open, some cotton came out. One of the adults pretended that it was his belly button lint. I thought that he had a lot of belly button lint based on the amount of cotton all of the other kids were getting him. I ate a yummy dinner, had fun playing bocce ball with light-up balls that my parents brought along and then went to bed. Thus ending my 2nd day on the river…
Day 3 – Half Way Already?
I woke this morning totally refreshed. I got to sleep in a tent all by myself because my sister wanted to sleep outside. We ate a breakfast of cereal and fresh mangos then we hit the river. We stopped at this tiny pull out. The river guidebook said that there were some petroglyphs and we walked to them. A boy on our trip found a fossil of a little fish about the size of my thumb. We told him he had to leave the fossil there for other kids to see when they came by. The petroglyphs were not that interesting but it was still cool to see them. We walked back to the boats and went a little further downriver. We then came to another pull out where there we supposedly even more petroglyphs. It was called ???> and it was AMAZING. It was as long as a school bus and had tons of petroglyphs on it. The swirls and the people looked like they were crafted with care. We got back on the boats and went downriver a little more. Soon we were at our next camp site. We setup and had a quick dinner. Again, I was really tired from the day and headed to bed not long after dinner.
Day 4 – Early start
Today we got up SUPER early. The adults seemed rushed and we got on the river early. We went to a creek called Rock Creek. It was beautiful and had mossy rocks, crystal clear water and even fish! It was stunning. All of us kids played in the mud and waded into the creek – we had a great time. We also filled up our water jugs. We took the mud and smeared it all over ourselves and called it a “spa treatment”. We also took cool looking leaves and flowers and stuck them onto our mud-covered arms and legs. All too soon we had to leave so we washed off in the creek and saw all the mud float down the creek into the Green River.
We then loaded back up onto the boats and headed out. It wasn’t long before I saw a flagpole on shore and a few stone buildings right around it. We all stopped and had lunch here. After lunch, we headed to explore the ranch. There was a little brick house with a basement called a root cellar. There were a few things left in the house like a bed frame but what I noticed the most were a couple of rather curious squirrels. We then moved onto another building nearby. It was really cool. Inside there was a bunch of random rusting parts like horseshoes, oil cans, really old car parts and even a bunch of bridle and tack parts.
There was also a really big deer nearby and when I went out of the building, or the blacksmith’s shop, the deer ran away. We got back into the boats, got to our campsite, setup, ate dinner, and hit the hay…yet again. I thought that this day would be one of my favorite days on the river.
Day 5 – Whitewater
Today was a bunch of rapids, one after the other. Mom and dad went over a rock and just got stuck. I wasn’t on their raft at the time. Mom thought she lost a shoe trying to push the boat off the rock, but dad found it later when unpacking the boat at camp. We had a quick lunch and got back on the river. We went through a few more rapids, and got to our campsite. We were super tired and hungry so we had some snacks until dinner was ready. We got a fire going and had s’mores. My dad brought these fire color packets and when we burned them the fire changed color.
Day 6 – It’s Over?
When I woke up, I realized that this was my last day on the river and I was getting out at the end of the day. We were only on the river for about 2 hours when we reached the take out. I was beyond disappointed, but then my imagination ran wild and I imagined a tiny yellow boat falling down a very big waterfall and suddenly, I didn’t regret anything. I helped unload the boat and the other kids and I enjoyed some Izzies – as well as the car air conditioning. We all split up into each other’s cars – just like we did on the river with the boats and we drove off.
We got to our hotel and it was super fancy. We had a huge room and I went to the pool then immediately showered. It was really weird not hearing the river. I was a little shaken up about being back in society, but I have never been happier about pooping in a toilet rather than in a groover.
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