Snake River, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, U.S.A.
Descending the Snake River was my first foray into whitewater rafting. She’s a north american river that flows through the shadows of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.
I was 11.
I’m 31 now and can still see, taste, smell, feel and hear everything from that day. Pine trees, brothers, birkenstocks, cousins, elk, hidden fear, rainbow trout, explosions of water meeting rock…
One day I’ll go back and she’ll feel like an old familiar friend.
Rio Tenorio, Northern Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Apri 11, 2012
My second venture into whitewater rafting took place just last week. Brothers and cousins of decades ago were replaced by Liz and Nelson, friends and co-workers of mine. Just as the Snake does, the Rio Tenorio descends from the slopes of nearby volcanoes. The Tenorio Volcano is just one of several grandstanding volcanoes in the immediate area.
Basecamp for the journey was located just off of dusty Highway 1. It was there that we would meet the team that eventually took us down the Tenorio, followed by all of us setting out on a 45-minute ascent toward the base of the volcano via LandCruiser. Our guide introduced himself as Hansell. He was a very excited and talkative fellow from the Caribbean coast. He was also extremely knowledgeable and well-versed in Costa Rica’s flora & fauna.
Somewhere between basecamp and our eventual launching point, Hansell stopped himself in the middle of a sentence and instructed the driver to pull over. Doors opened and people spilled out of the Toyota. Hansell confidently pointed to a tree and shouted “there it is, Pacific Screech Owl!!”.
For what seemed like an eternity there was an awkward silence as the rest of us tried to figure out what the hell we were looking for. All of the sudden, appearing from somewhere between all the leaves and branches she calls home, I saw her: a Pacific Screech Owl, all 6-inches of her.
Hansell was completely fired up about a 6-inch owl. And at that point so was I.
From there it was sweet cashew trees, roller-coaster rapids, large schools of machata, ‘el papparazzi’, tiger herrons, teamwork, 80+ whiteface monkeys moving through the forest in unison, ear-to-ear smiles, brilliant blue butterflies, delicious pineapple, bodies flying everywhere, nervous energy…and above all a sweet sense of accomplishment.
The Rio Tenorio. One day I’ll go back and she’ll feel like an old familiar friend.
*Below are 8 shots from our adventure. A 5-shot sequence starts at shot #3. Enjoy…
1. Liz is about to go swimming.
2. The Pacific Screech Owl. Can you find it?
3. The sequence begins…
4. The drop…
5. Still dropping…
6. The landing…
7. The recovery…
8. The End.
A special thank-you goes to Desafio Adventures Company for making this possible!