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Seven Days on the San Juan River

We left Salt Lake City to embark on our river journey down the San Juan River. After a day of gear prepping and packing dry bags,w e waited for our river guide Kay while playing a good game of hacky sack in the sand. Once Kay arrived we unloaded the rafts and fell asleep excited for the beginning of the next expedition. Kay Harris shared his wisdom about the native people of the San Juan River known as the Anasazi, where their symbols came from and why the Anasazi put them there. He showed us their petroglyphs and remains of their pottery. After that we began our seven-day journey rafting on the San Juan River.

During the first part of our journey Kay showed us the ruin of Anasazi kivas (a kiva is a circular structure meant for spiritual ceremonies). We had a very peaceful moment of silence as a group there, feeling the history of the place. After these two days of insightful archaeology lessons we had some longer days on the river learning how to captain a paddle raft, paddle a ducky and read fast water. All the while, we ate like kings with meals such as Blueberry pancakes, full on gourmet breakfast sandwiches, delicious BLTs, while constantly bombarding us with Nutter Butters, Stacy’s chips, homemade cookies and homemade brownies.

On the fourth day we climbed to the top of the horn. The horn is a four mile switchback hike up to a jutting piece of sandstone high above the San Juan River. While we were there we had a meditation led by Zachary Russell Dunn to connect with ourselves. We set up our new camp that day with tired and happy faces.

Our fifth day we went Down the mighty Government rapid. During the rapid one oar raft got push onto a rock and was stuck there due to the mighty force of the rapid. We tried to pull the oar raft off the rocks with throw ropes but were eventually forced to throw much of the gear off the boat so that it was light enough to move. As a group we felt that we had to put our heads together and work as a group.

On the final day we paddled sixteen miles of sand bars and upstream winds. When we finally got to the river exit. Then we loaded up gear and rafts and said our final cinnamon-bun-filled farewell to our wonderful guide Kay Harris and his assistant Amanda.

The most valuable thing you can give someone is your time
Massimi and Sawyer
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  • Valerie Ferris
    Love hearing about your adventure. Your river trip sounds amazing on many levels. Enjoy the rest of your trip, safe travels!
  • Kayden Will
    Time with Kay Harris on the river is something to remember for a long time. Thanks for sharing a little glimpse. Happy travels to you all!
  • john ferris
    Kivas are wonderful and spiritual places. Great to hear that you experienced one along your journey. Hopefully the planned fire pit at Proctor will take on the powerful meaning of a Kiva over time. Thanks for the post!
  • Uncle Chris
    Yo! Killer blog! I just read all three of them and you have been doing a beautiful job keeping your people up to date. The pictures are amazing and do a wonderful job of telling the story. Thank you all again for allowing me into your world over this past weekend. I had a blast and look forward to seeing you all once again! Finish in good style my friends.
Located in  Andover, NH,  Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 912. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
204 Main Street  .  PO Box 500  .  Andover, NH 03216
p. (603) 735-6000   f. (603) 735-6300