America's Great River Journeys
River trips are among the best things in life.
Rivers wind and plunge as pathways of adventure, of exploration, and of nature, and river trips offer a view that we just don't get through the windshield. You have to go!
Drifting with the current draws us into the unknown—an incredibly beautiful unknown. Both the serenity of mirroring pools and the rush of explosive rapids stir the body, the psyche, and the spirit.
Part of the fascination for river trips comes simply from the joy that they offer to all. And it's not just about us. Rivers are home to fish and wildlife, and in traveling on these waterways we can see that they intertwine whole landscapes, regions, and states.
Rivers cool us on hot days, they take us to enchanting places, and in quiet moments they instill or stir thoughts that probe to the core of vital experience, meanings, and mysteries.
Let gravity do the work on the river of our choice! Easily taken for granted, our floating on the current is a pleasure unlike any other. We drift without effort, as if airborne in slow motion flight above the rocks and terrain beneath us. This can be done in utter silence and relaxation as we watch the river bottom and shorelines go by, and there's something special and serene about doing that for not just a moment or an hour, but for days.
Rivers deliver us to both rugged canyons and scenic valleys, to wilderness that's untouched and also to the nation's esteemed heritage of historic landmarks. They offer visions not just to the past and present, but also to the future. A fate without strong connections and visceral attachments to the natural world would be doomed. By joining the flow and appreciating its beauty, we make those connections. We embrace those attachments.
River trips are microcosms of life itself with its mix of security and risks, comforts, escapes, and returns. These trips are something we can do with family, friends, total strangers, expert river guides, and all the above. Being out there, and connected in a common endeavor, we enjoy the wonders of rivers together, share the duties and rewards, and get to know each other in a way that just doesn't happen in other places.
Rivers come from mountain or upland sources and they swell to grand finales at the edge of the sea. In between—if we're willing to go—they sweep us up in journeys to the heart of America.
Tim Palmer's new book, America's Great River Journeys, showcases 50 of the finest river trips in America, including the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho and the Rogue and Owyhee in Oregon. See the book at www.timpalmer.org, or at Amazon.
"I've been guiding river trips and running my own outfitting company for 20 years, and can say with confidence that Tim Palmer is uniquely qualified to write about America’s best river journeys. His motivation for getting out on rivers is irresistibly infectious, and his descriptions of these 50 outings are the ultimate resource for anybody wanting to see or travel on our country’s waterways. Read Tim's book and then go!"Northwest Rafting Company owner Zach Collier