Whitewater Rafting Adventure in Utah Offers Digital Detox

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Views, views, and more views.  The western skyline in the heart of Canyonlands National Park is filled with them.  It's important to get up to the canyon rim to fully realize how in the middle of nowhere you are.  
No cell towers here!

5 Genuine Benefits to Getting Off the Grid and Onto the River

by Julie Trevelyan

You can almost feel the warmth of the cup and smell the aroma of hot 
coffee.The vast skylines in the heart of Canyonlands National Park will
melt the everyday worries away leaving you relaxed and refreshed.  
Sun up to sun down.

No doubt about it, mind-blowing advances in technology have made life easier for many of us. Instant access to information, knowledge, and one another has had a positive effect on necessities such as communication, wait times, activity planning, and an almost endless host of other essential life activities. But the flip side, as it turned out, can have extremely deleterious effects on people as well. So many options! So much information! Too many IMs, emails, comments, tweets, posts, text messages to respond to in a timely manner! As our contemporary world still seeks to find a deft balance between handling amazing technological innovations while also attending to our basic human need to detach and recharge at regular intervals, many of us tumble into a brutally endless tug-of-war between mental smooth sailing and a chaotic, seemingly bottomless pit of Very Important Things That Must Be Done Right This Instant Or Else. But relinquishing the incessant pressures of daily living, even for a short time, for the easy harmony of a river rafting trip in spectacular, serene wilderness areas can offer such a tremendous amount of self-restoration and rejuvenation that the effects can positively counterbalance significant periods of going full throttle and never taking a break. Here are five reasons why getting off the modern grid of life and onto the river can start to retrain your mind into its more natural rhythms, and help you create a more balanced life again.

The Big Drops on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon are 
world class rapids.You get to experience them in an Oar raft. Close to 
the water, fully immersed in the experience.  We take the slow road.
1. Quiet your mind while soothing your soul. There are many studies indicating outdoor recreation and enjoyment have markedly positive effects on the mind. In the age of massive amounts of information available only a click away, it isn't surprising that our brains can quickly get overwhelmed and threaten to have a meltdown. River rafting trips launch you into a primal wilderness world in which you can be blissfully disconnected. Removing yourself from the constant chatter of the entire world can also remove the constant chatter of your mind as you ease into your body's instinctive clock and natural ability to just go with the flow on a remote, technology-free, beautiful river.

Getting off the river and onto a trail is high on the priority list for any
rafting trip. Exploring caves, ruins, rock art and the views.  Gets the blood
flowing and the imagination going of what it must have been like here 
in a different time.

2. Banish the stress. Many modern people have incorporated a frantic daily routine of multi-tasking
while running around at work, on errands, or after the kids into a perceived state of normalcy. Getting away from all those demands on your time can impart a sense of almost reckless freedom, then an easy, grateful acceptance of the simple joys of being alive and truly appreciating your days. From the gentle sound of the river's burble waking you in the morning, to the immense solitude and hush of mostly untouched river canyons, to the flicker of campfire flames under a sky so filled with stars that most urban and suburban dwellers never even notice they are up there, a tranquil getaway can almost magically help heal the acknowledged physical, mental, and emotional burdens of stress.

You can see stars forever in the night sky deep in the wilderness of a river 
canyon. We'll gather around the campfire to regal the stories of the day.  
Bring your guitar.  

3. Digital detox. Let's face it, the digital landscape is here to stay. While it can be a wondrous playground of connection and learning and information, it can also be a debilitating black hole of pointless Internet arguments between total strangers who simply must be informed of how wrong they are, link-following that leads you into a three-hour time suck when you only intended to spend ten minutes tops checking your email or social media profiles, and an overall excellent way to spend half your day doing random stuff online, the details of which you likely won't even recall in a week. Shaking off the fascinating yet viselike shackles of the digital universe for a few days or even a week while on a whitewater river adventure can give your mind the refreshing cleanse it needs in order to relax, rejuvenate, and naturally recharge.

A river camp is surprisingly full equipped.  Chairs, tables, a library can, 
portable toilet and one heck of a view.  Enjoy a swim or kick back and 
read a book while appetizers and dinner are being prepared.

4. Increased sense of exhilaration. While relaxing, river time can also offer new experiences that create an reinvigorated excitement for life. Many people will never get the opportunity to spy bighorn sheep quietly grazing by the river's edge as the raft floats by, nor will they chance a glimpse of a golden eagle hitching a ride on the wind currents far above, or be witness the playful silliness of river otters dipping in and out of the water with a sheer exuberance that can be delightfully contagious. Unwinding into the easygoing cadence of days spent on the water, unplugged yet reconnected, does an essential thing for you: it reminds you of how incredible are the hidden creatures, the simplicity of your true needs, and the small yet powerful moments that make up each and every one of your days.

Relaxed, rejuvenated, belly laughs and good times.  In the raft during the 
day or in camp at night you can't help but to transform to a lighter 
happier place.

5. Lasting impact. Re-entry into the frenetic connected world can sometimes feel abrupt after a soothing escape on a river trip. The second you get back into service, you're checking your phone to see what vital messages you missed. The sense of a need to hurry and be productive can grip people when they return to their regular lives. But studies do show that people carry the peaceful sanctity of their time in the great outdoors back with them, particularly if that time was especially long, especially intense, or if they return for repeated wilderness visits to restore and revitalize themselves far from the madding crowds. So go on. Get out there onto the river rafts, into the wild canyons, out under the stars. The dividends you'll get in return are even greater than the sheer fun of whooping and hollering down whitewater waves or floating through calm, lazy waters.


For a rush of excitement, captain your own boat and challenge yourself 
in a single inflatable kayak.  Just keep the nose pointing downriver and 
you will break right through the waves. 
Julie is a freelance writer, wilderness guide in southern Utah and author of 100 Classic Hikes in Utah (The Mountaineers Books, Spring 2016). She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate. See more of her work at Holiday River Expeditions' River Currents Blog or at www.wildgirlwriting.com  Find her on Instagram & Twitter at @JulieTrevelyan


If You Go:

For the active type you'll want to choose a paddle raft. Plenty of exercise,
splashes and thrills.  You'll rest easy at the end of the day, sleep well, 
get up and do it all over again.
Holiday River Expeditions offers multi-day backcountry rafting and mountain biking trips in Utah, Idaho and Colorado. Trips ranging from 2 to 9 days. Explore rivers and trails in Canyonlands National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, San Rafael Swell and The Frank Church Wilderness of Idaho.  Visit their website www.bikeraft.com or call their Salt Lake City business office 800-624-6323 to discover for yourself the "Genuine Benefits to Getting Off the Grid and Onto the River."

Hashbrowns for breakfast.

At the end of an adventure filled day it's time
for a toast.  Bonds are forged with your fellow
river travelers. A common interest brought to 
all together and a shared experience keeps 
you that way.

Each night as you pull off the river and arrive 
at your home away from home folks go off 
and stake their claim for the evening.  Find a 
camp with views of the canyon walls or close
enough to the river to lull yourself to sleep to 
the sounds of the rippling water.  

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