8/25-8/26: Grand Teton National Park
Teaching kids to take risks is an essential skill to learn. This weekend, we met some dear friends in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a mother son adventure of white water rafting, followed by hiking and cliff jumping in the Grand Tetons. We had the thrill of our life filled with smiles, laughs, high fives and fist pumps!
2 mamas, 4 boys, our guide Bear, and Steve. Poor Steve. Steve thought he was going to enjoy a peaceful day on the Snake River and instead he got 4 excited young boys and 2 mamas empowering them to push their limits as they explored the outdoors.
Down the stream we go on the white water rapids. The strong current pushes us left and right, as the waves crash over our boat and the icy temps send goose bumps all over our body. The raft jolts up and down like a rollercoaster. The momentum slowing while the raft climbs up the wave and then intensifying as we crash, nose first, into rapids. The laughs, screams and encouragement were exhilarating.
After everyone was comfortable with rafting, it was time to push the limits. Evan and Cole both fought nerves as they assumed their position on the nose of the raft…aka “riding the bull.” No paddle in hand, they sit on top of the raft with one hand on a rope and one hand free for balance. Cowboy up! They took turns riding the bull into the rapids.
The Big Kahuna was up ahead and Cole appeared confident and ready. As the nose of the raft plummeted into the rapid, waves spilled over the top, flooding the inside of the boat with water. The water sprayed into our face and soaked our clothes. As we wiped the water from our eyes, we noticed Cole was missing!
Without hesitation, I dove across the raft, locked my toes around the seat and with one arm, then the other lifted Cole up and forcefully launched him back into the boat. His buddies were there wide eyed in disbelief and astonishment! Their cheers boosted his confidence and he was all smiles and ready for round 2!
Risk. Adventure. Living life to the fullest. We grow and become our best selves when we seek adventure. Through adventure, you learn valuable experiences that ultimately will change your life. My life was made better today by an incredible adventure.
After a mile hike around Phelps Lake in the Grand Tetons, we found the infamous cliff jumping boulder…situated at the waters edge, with a large platform 30 feet above the stunning deep blue water. The boys quickly scaled the boulder and peered over the jagged edge, sizing up their next adventure.
We made sure the situation was safe, but then gave them space to work through emotions and make calculated decisions. We encouraged exploration. Evan wanted to touch the water before taking the plunge. JJ crawled out to the ledge to access the sheer vertical drop. Cole and Andy were trying to muster the courage, but only if their big brothers went first. Brilliant plan by the littles!
JJ took the stage first. You could see the nerves as he cupped his hands around his mouth to feel the warmth of his breath. “You got this JJ!!!!” He quickly turned his head with a nod and then confidently sprinted off the edge! Unbelievable! Evan followed suit. Then Cole. Then, the best of all, the youngest of the group…7 year old Andy. His trunks were flapping in the wind and there was no time to waste. Delay increases your odds of backing down. The countdown started. “10-9-8….3-2-1” and without hesitation, little man took off in perfect cliff jumping form and nailed a 10.0 score, with his mom waiting to wrap him in a towel and embrace the courage she just witnessed. Unbelievable! Epic day!
Rafting and cliff jumping are two memorable experiences that expanded our boys’ horizons and built confidence in their ability to handle new, exciting and scary situations. I’m so proud of all of them! So happy to be their mama and to walk alongside a friend who is also raising amazing young men. What a weekend!
As I lay here thinking about our amazing week, my imagination takes off and I smile as I pretend I’m on that river wild, rafting and cliff jumping, enjoying nature and making sweet sweet memories. We love you Metzler’s!