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The river is more than a weekend retreat for us. It runs through our veins. It’s a way of life: our livelihood. For me, it also symbolizes change … leaving the city life (almost 15 years ago) and venturing into the unknown.

photo courtesy of - Kati Rouse
photo courtesy of - Kati Rouse

It doesn’t always give freely. Conditions can change in the blink of an eye, making it difficult for the average bear. I am forever grateful for our ‘Papa Bear’ who is way beyond the average. I’ve watched our children grow from ‘fishing’ with us in front packs to mending their lines better than many adults.

As we navigated on our Colorado journey, I was feeling the frustration of being sick and not running, probably the most I had not run in years. I also had not had a lot of fishy time to myself. As our kids are still kids, fishing usually includes a lot of splashing and skipping rocks, which means fewer fish. Sometimes no fish, if you are not quick enough to get a line in before the chaos. We haven’t really pushed our kids to fish. We want the desire to come naturally from within.

One night, I was going to sneak off to grab some much needed solo river time. Shortly into my hike, I realized I had company. A certain little 9 year-old decided she really wanted to fish with me. At that moment I knew that this was better than the moment of solitude I was seeking. I wouldn’t give anything for our night on the river.

photo courtesy of - Kati Rouse

We wrapped up our time in Colorado with the epic stonefly hatch on the Conejos; living, at the time, in a tiny cabin, in the middle of a fish camp full of people who plan for this hatch every year. We didn’t realize, until we got there, that it was happening. We couldn’t have timed it more perfectly and will be back next year, probably with many of the same people.

photo courtesy of - Kati Rouse

What a special community where our kids made quick friends and rode their bikes freely through the camp.
Of course, we also managed to squeeze in some stellar disc golf in Beaver Creek. It was way beyond amazing. I absolutely love my group of humans and savor these adventures we have together. Each year we have a theme song. This year was Leon Bridges’ “River.”

So, forever and always,
Take Me to Your River!

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