Lessons from the River – My FEARLESS Adventure

Fearless doesn’t mean without fear . Okay, technically it does, but for the purpose of Fearless Summer it means acknowledging that something is scary or difficult and then *gulp* doing it anyway.

What could be scarier or more challenging than ME on a 5-day Whitewater rafting trip through the Gates of Lodore in Colorado and Utah? (Admit it, you were a little scared when you saw the words Tiffany & Whitewater together).

But I DID IT!

Lessons Learned on the River:

2) What a groover is. If you don’t know, you probably don’t want to.

3) If you scream like horror-flick blonde, you will get made fun of around the campfire.

4) When things go wrong on the river, they go wrong fast and they go really wrong.

5) If you haven’t used your underwater camera in a year – check it before going shutterbuggy.

6) Braids are the ideal river hairstyle.

7) River trips have their own language.

8) Camping requires lots of STUFF

Don’t we look rather FEARLESS? Okay, really we just look amused…. but there was plenty of fearlessness occurring too. And it was, most definitely, an ADVENTURE!

Apply sunblock BEFORE you put on your Chacos

Like my stripe-y sunburn?

The shoes that caused it… (though mine are lighter pink)

photo credit

…Also, pedicures are no match for camping.

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3) If you scream like horror-flick blonde, you will get made fun of around the campfire

In my defense, someone had seen a SNAKE in that general area the day before. And I heard a scary noise in the bushes behind me. The fact that it turned out to be a bird and not actually a man-eating serpent isn’t relevant.

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Watch out Boston, Here I come!

There’s a song that they sing when they take to the highway


And conveniently that is a line from my song; the song that I sing when we prepare to make the six hour trek from Doylestown to my childhood home in Massachusetts.

We’ll be making that drive today as soon as I hit “publish post” – I can’t wait!

I LOVE roadtrips. I always have. When we were younger, we drove 11 hours each way to get to our beach home in P.E.I.. The drive was always one of my favorite parts of the vacation. I also enjoyed lobster cookouts on the beach, seeing the Anne of Green Gables musical over and over, chocolate-chip pancakes at the Morell Diner, dune races… but the car trip would have made my top 10 list.

Well, I should clarify: the first eight hours were enjoyable. By hour nine my sister would have gotten carsick, the boys would have run out of Gameboy batteries and resorted to he’s-looking-at-me, no-I’m-not, he’s-breathing-on-my-side, and the dogs would be panting and drooling down my neck. The 10th hour was the most awful; we’d all have to pee, but my parents would pull their we’re-almost-there, not-much-farther, can’t-you-hold-it? Occasionally Nick couldn’t.

And worst of all, I’d have run out of books. Not all my books for the trip – my mom knew better than to give me access to all of them at once. But I’d have finished the 3-4 she’d parsed out to me for the drive.

That was the whole joy of the car ride – I’d willingly accept the seat in the back row on the non-door-side of the caravan because I didn’t want to be bothered. Who cares about the extra leg room? I didn’t have to let people climb over me to get out. I didn’t have to reach for things in the cooler or pass out napkins and juice boxes. I didn’t have to hold the dogs’ leashes when the sliding door was opened.

I could slip on my foam padded walkman headphones, turn up the volume on Belinda Carlisle or New Kids on the Block, and flip open a book.

I’d spend a few hours with the Sweet Valley Twins, totally enamored with Jessica and her Unicorn Club, but accepting that I was much more of an Elizabeth.

My sister would poke me when we stopped for gas or food and hand me a leash.

Somethings never change.

Have you figured out my road trip song? Here’s another hint:

Now the first of December was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
Lord, the Berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go


I have to give St. Matt some credit. He won’t let me get away with tuning him out for the whole ride, which is only fair since I make him do all the driving. When we were first dating I would read book aloud to him. This worked. Sorta. Except, when he got out to pump gas, I would stealthily read ahead and then try and get away with just summarizing when he got back in.

Now we do audiobooks. He’s okay with me tuning him out – as long as he has something to tune into. There are strict pause-button policies that go into affect during any bathroom breaks, gas refilling, puggle pit stops, or if I think of something I need to write down thisveryminutesoIdon’tforget.

Today– we’ve got Airhead by Meg Cabot, Feed by M.T. Anderson, and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E.Lockhart.

And of course we also have music too – it may not be Circle in the Sand or Hanging Tough, but I’ll be singing just as loudly and just as off-key.

And of course I’ll also be singing…

Goodnight, you moonlight ladies
Rockabye, sweet baby James
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Won’t you let me go down in my dreams?
And rockabye, sweet baby James

Not a James Taylor fan? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered:

How about a true Boston band? Guster:
The sooner you leave, the sooner you’re home
Back in Massachusetts

Or Augustana:

♫I think I’ll go to Boston…
Yes, I think I will. Now.
….Pity poor St. Matt, writing this has put me in a singing mood and he’ll have six hours in the car to listen to ALL of my road trip songs. (Suggestions welcome!)
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