My connection to the river is essential, somber, and enlivening. My family built a beautiful home on the banks of the Big Wood; my father passed away on a bridge over the Big Wood; the ashes of both of my parents run through the Big Wood. But still, for me, the river is anything but spooky. It is spiritual, full of memories, and a symbol of growth and continuity. I’ve had my fair share of revelry and “holy sh*t look at the size of that rapid” moments on the river. But, most importantly, I’ve forged friendships with classmates, bonded with family, and fallen in love with my husband during trips down rivers—from the Salmon, to the Snake, to the Green, to the McKenzie. While I value the conversations, laughter, and high fives I’ve had on the water, it’s perhaps the silence that speaks to me the most—just the sound a rolling rapid or the gentle lap against the drift boat. For me, the river is a place to both remember and forget, a place to honor and overcome life’s hardships, and an endless, ever-connected source of peace.
White Cloud Communication
Krista Milleman | Big Wood River, Idaho