Spontaneously Floating The Boise River

Many years ago, I became online friends with, for the sake of this blog post we’ll call him Job. One day, after months of witty banter back and forth online and every day phone calls full of joking, word puns, and talk of adventure, I asked Job, “what are you up to this weekend?”  Job began to tell me that he was traveling from Louisiana, where he lived, to Idaho to visit his parents at their farm in Boise, and planned to float the Boise River and hang with his younger brother Joe.  Sounded like the ideal adventure to me, so I responded with an “I’m jealous, wish I could float the Boise river!”

“What’re you doing this weekend?” he asked.

“No plans.”

“Well you should come float the Boise with us!”

“Uhh, yeah that sounds awesome, but I can’t just up and leave to Idaho.”

“If I get you a plane ticket you can.”

(not believing he was serious) “Yeah sure,” as I laughed, “I’ll come float the Boise River.”

By noon the next day, Job had called me back and then sent me an email with confirmation of my plane ticket to Idaho.  What??!! He seriously just purchased me a plane ticket and I was seriously going to Idaho to meet a person I’d never seen before?!  Of course I was.  At this point, it would be my very first time flying anywhere alone.  So September 3, 2007, I got on a plane headed for Boise.

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I fell in love with the experience of flying as a I trotted through Chicago’s Ohare airport before my transfer flight, and people watched as a I sat waiting to board my next plane. Like a fascinated little child, I sat on the plane, glued to the window the entire flight. I remember thinking, looking down, that flying gives you such a unique perspective on the world. It makes you appreciate the perfect marriage between Divine Architecture and Man’s Architechture, as you pass over untouched mountainous land and then over a large man made city.

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When the plane touched down in Boise, I excitedly exited into the airport and called Job on a pay phone because my cell phone didn’t have free long distance (yes we had cell phones back in the stone ages, just not ones with free long distance). I walked through the airport to where he guided me to meet him and it wasn’t until I got to the top of the escalator down into the baggage claim area, that I began to get nervous.  I was about to meet a complete stranger half way across the country. Here’s hoping he’s not an axe-murderer, I thought out loud.

When I saw him, I was relieved, and even more so when he smiled and gave me a big hug. We started chatting away as he walked me to the parking lot.  He had come to pick me up in his dad’s old white farm truck and I disctintly remember him purposely running over the curb in the drivethrough of the restaurant we ate at (all that flying made me hungry) to make me laugh.  By the time we got back to Job’s parents house it was dark.

We stayed up half the night talking about life and what we’d do while we were there, until we finally dozed off. I woke up in the morning to the sun shining through the open window and when I got out of bed, stretched and looked outside, I was thoroughly impressed with the sprawling view. The farm sat on rolling hills with a barn back behind the house and a few horses, one who’s my cousin Tristan’s namesake (I had to call and tell her) lol.

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We spent the first half of the day driving around Boise, where Job showed me the capital building and treated me to a trip to Lucky Peak Lake to take a dip under the GIANT fountain. We ate lunch in town at a little cafe, and then headed back to the house to pack up the raft and paddles into the station wagon.  We drove around for about a half hour looking for a good place to put into the river. It was hot, well into the 90’s but the water in the Boise river was COLD as ice. We pumped up the float and carried it to the river, got in and spent the remainder of the day floating down the river, talking, laughing and being goofy. When we reached our destination, Job’s brother was supposed to come get us, but we couldn’t get ahold of him so, what did we do? We hitched a ride with a complete stranger back to the place we parked, with Job and a half deflated raft in the back seat.

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Finally ariving back at the car, we loaded up and headed back to the farm, where we cleaned up, then headed into town for some dinner.  He took me to a little Italian restaurant called DaVinci’s. Afterwards we had drinks and played not real darts at Mulligans Pub, where I made two, count them two, bullseyes!! We stayed out on the town until around 2am having fun, dancing and drinking.  When we finally made it back to the farm, we were ready to crash.

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The following day we woke up to 107 degree temperature and decided it’d be a good day to spend at Roaring Springs Water Park. It was the coolest waterpark out in the middle of nowhere. Job’s brother joined us and we spent all day swimming and getting sunburned. My favorite was the giant half pipe they drop you into on a raft followed closely by the slide that is like a giant toilet you get flushed down.  After swimming we grabbed some snacks, played some games in the arcade where Job won me a sheriff sponge bob and then played a round of putt putt golf.  With all my days there being packed to the brim with fun, adventure and excitement, I was pooped.

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Luckily my flight and Job’s the next day wasn’t until later in the day. Job’s whole family came to the airport to see us off, him back home to Louisiana and me back home to Cincinnati.  We had airport lunch and after some bittersweet goodbyes we parted ways and headed to our terminals. I  called my mom to tell her I was headed home and then boarded my plane. When I reached Chicago to catch my transfer flight, it was EXTREMELY delayed so I spent several hours people watching and riding the baggage converyer escalator belt thingies.

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I reached Cincinnati around 1am, and my parents were anxiously awaiting my arrival at the airport. I was so grateful to have someone picking me up, because I was so tired I fell asleep in the car.  All in all my trip to Boise was an amazing experience and meeting a complete stranger turned out not to be so bad (knock on wood). I think if you put positive energy out there into the world, you attract other people who are like minded. I’ll never forget my trip to Idaho, my first time flying alone, or that one time I floated the Boise River in a blow up raft.

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Buzzardroost Rock Trail Hike with the Viking

Being an adventurer is wild and exciting and involves a lot of living in and embracing the moment, but as I told a friend the other day, sometimes the moment doesn’t feel good, sometimes it can be difficult, or unsettling, maddening, sad or just plain miserable. But, we need to be in it anyway. We can’t deny ourselves the basis of what makes us human; feeling things.

Last year at the end of the summer, I was browsing craigslist for creative gigs and ran across an ad for an individual looking for a camera person to start a youtube channel with. Although my main focus is photography, I have a strong interest in video so I figured it couldn’t hurt to check it out.  I texted the number listed on the ad, and so began my friendship with Viking Greg.

In the beginning

In the beginning

We texted back and forth for a couple months and finally our schedules aligned and we met for coffee on November 19th. We talked for hours after our coffee was gone about life, philosophy, spirituality and adventure.  Although we’ve never started a youtube channel, or hell even filmed anything, we have developed an awesome organic chemistry. As the months have gone by, our friendship has grown closer and Viking Greg has proved to be an honest, trustworthy, insightful and inspirational friend.

Greg & I at my birthday party in January

Greg & I at my birthday party in January

I’ve known from the beginning that Greg had plans to leave in spring for a grand journey, starting in Ireland and ending who knows where, but as the months have passed by and our adventures as friends have just started, I find myself struggling to prepare to say goodbye, at least for the time being.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so super happy and excited for my new found friend that he is going to follow his heart, his dream, maybe even a little jealous lol, but I’m going to miss the kid.

I guess that’s one of the things about being a nomad that I’ve disliked the most, is having to say goodbye to people I’ve bonded with, befriended and loved.

Since Greg is leaving soon to embark on his new journey in life, we’ve been trying to cram in as much adventure as possible, and Thursday we finally got a beautiful day and made the hour and a half drive to Adam’s County Ohio to hike the Buzzardroost Rock Trail, considered the best view in Ohio.  Since it had rained a ton and we have had a lot of snow melt, the 4 mile round trip trail was super muddy and slick.  The Buzzardroost Rock trail is a well rounded trail with a lot of scenery and foliage changes. challenging but still intermediate hills to hike and at the end, a 500 ft high and almost 360 degree view of Adams County’s Brush Creek valley.

The last time I hiked BRR trail, the entrance was a bit tricky to find and the parking lot was located across the street from the trail head.  Now they’ve put up a new sign on main road and although it extended the trail just a bit, you no longer have to cross the road to reach it.

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The trail is marked by orange numbered markers on the trees lining the path. There was one marking we passed that said, 37, Swing on it… Do it.  Looking around we found a long vine hanging from the next tree over and did just as instructed. After crashing into the trees a few times, we made our way to the top of the rock outcrop, stopping along the way for plenty of pictures.  Reaching the end of the BRR trail can never get old. As you walk out onto the Dolomite outcrop, you are graced with a breathtaking panoramic view of the lush green Brush Creek valley.IMG_6859 copy

For those of you like me, who don’t know what a dolomite outcrop is, let me give you a brief geology lesson. Dolomite is a sedimentary rock that contains more than 50% of the mineral Dolomite, which is both a mineral and a type of rock (confusing right?!). Dolomite is former limestone that has been dolomitized, which happens when calcium carbonate in the limestone is replaced by calcium magnesium carbonate (which is the mineral form of Dolomite).  This replacement is caused by magnesium-bearing water (normally salt water) percolating the limestone. So now we know what it is made of, but what is it? Besides just a big ‘ole rock.  The technical name for the land form that is BRR is an outcrop. An outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock (consolidated rock underlying the surface of Earth) or ancient superficial deposits.  According to Mark Wolf of the Ohio Geological Survey Department, these particular rock outcrops in the Brush Creek valley were formed by glaciers and the Brush Creek was formed by two pre-glacial creeks.

Who knew Ohio had such a rich geological history (besides of course, the geologists)? Another one of those things we take for granted or overlook as unimportant.

After watching the sunset, we hiked back down the hill, enjoying the last bit of daylight.  By the time we reached the parking lot, the sunlight had completely vanished to expose a crisp starlit night sky.  Instead of climbing in the car right away we lay on our backs on the concrete, not saying much but just absorbing the vastness of the universe. Greg broke the silence, “I’m gonna miss ya Gypsy chick.”  And I will miss him too.

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Hopefully one day our paths will cross again and we can share all we’ve learned in the mean time.  If you’d like to learn more about Greg’s journey and support him in his adventure, check out his page at