James Denhalter | Snake River, Wyoming

My love for the river wasn’t instilled in me by my parents. I wasn’t raised on the river. I didn’t spend my childhood on the water. My love for the river started when I was 24, I spent my years in school and was searching for a way to get a little adventure in my life during the summer months. That search led me to the river, specifically the Snake River outside of Jackson, Wyoming. I was lucky enough to get a job with Mad River Boat Trips and at first, the motivation for taking the job wasn’t the water but the land, being able to spend time in the National Parks that surrounded Jackson. I was sure I would spend one summer in Jackson hiking and exploring the parks and then find a new adventure for the next summer. Very quickly, and without really noticing it, my interests changed. I spent all the time I could on the river, my days off were often spent on the same stretch of the Snake River that I worked on. August rolled around, and I knew I was hooked, here I am 4 summers later still returning to Mad River year after year.

The river satisfied my need for adventure, I have been looking for the next adventure my whole life and I found it on the river. For me, the river symbolizes freedom, and by that I mean nonconformity (it just doesn’t sound as good as freedom). No one cares who you are on the river, societal norms don’t exist and because of that there is a sense of community there unlike any I have found anywhere else. If you’re looking for a place to find adventure, freedom, community and excitement GO TO THE RIVER.

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