I didn't know what to expect on the trip up to the Northern California rivers. It was my first trip away from the American River rafting with the W.E.T. guides. I was ready for a full couple of days of river rafting new rivers, but I realized there is more to a road trip then rafting. The comraderie, traveling, rafting, and camping are all as much a reason to go on the road as any other reason.
After the day has ended, and dinner has gone and passed, it becomes time to settle around the camp fire. I recognize the camp fire as a place to discuss the days happenings, and also to discuss what to expect the next day rafting. The fire is a relaxing place to sit back and exchange river stories, and maybe to share a beverage or two.
As the night goes on, the stories become more and more elaborate. The tales are harder to comprehend whether or not these things really happened, or have, at least, a semblance to reality. The fire and the drinks allow you to, maybe, open up a little more then you would when the sun is up.
Being the young and newer guide, I hear a lot of life advice from the more seasoned crew members. Advice about how to deal with all possible situations... sometimes the advice comes not in verbal form, but in the actions of the other guides. The life lessons are not just for the world of rivers but come into use on a daily basis. I think after only a few more river fires, I will be ready for every situation imaginable. I will always remember these river trips and all the advice given.
Note: Heffe is a 2nd year guide for W.E.T. River Trips though he's had approximately 100+ trips training with our company. He is a great river guide and kayaker who is fast learning the ways and wiles of our more (ahem) "seasoned" crew members (the wise ol' farts). His youth and enthusiasm bring a breathe of fresh air to the more seasoned guides as his eyes look with wonderment at every nuance of the river. Aaaah, I remember my beginnings when I was a newbie on the river.
Heffe is helping with the guide training this year as he passes on his experience to the guide school students. Saul and Andrew, our senior staff members look to Heffe as the new generation coming up on the W.E.T. team. Look for him on the American River rafting this year!