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“Hi my name is Nate, I’m 17 years old and I’m from northwest Ohio” I said

Ilona and I locked eyes after she had realized something that I had realized when she introduced herself prior. Besides Colleen, I had just met my first fellow Ohioan in 50 or so days. That night we reminisced over Cedar point (the only cool thing in Ohio) and how every year in early October they had a Halloween special called Halloweekends, and how my Scottish auntie got into a fight with a high school kid in a haunted house after he jumped out at her dressed as a zombie just trying to do his job.

Okay that was really stupid but meeting another Ohioan was actually really exciting. Anyways that was a really weird way to start off my Yak but you can blame Celie for that. I just spent 5 minutes staring at my phone screen and she suggested that that’s how I should start it. Ok but for real, I wanted to write about the amazing river trip that we just got back from a couple of days ago. We started off in bluff Utah and ended in a small town with the antiquated name of “Mexican Hat”, named after a distinctive rock feature that strikingly resembles a sombrero. We had to wake up super early everyday to load to boats back up with enough gear to sustain The entire Roman Empire. But I must say having all that gear gave us a taste of luxury we hadn’t experienced in quite a while. With fresh lasagne and French toast as a couple examples of the meals we prepared and ate, it was clear that we had come a long way since drinking our dirty dish water with Dave in bears ears.

Having 7 instructors at once was kind of crazy and the difference between our culture and the culture of our river guides was very apparent. For one, they had something we lack: basic cleanliness. We had to wear masks and gloves in the kitchen, wash our hands before meals, wash our dishes thoroughly, and secure all of our gear before we go to bed. All of those examples being practices we haven’t done in our own group since big bend ranch.

On the river we saw incredible petroglyphs everyday as we floated on the Río San Juan through a beautiful desert landscape. Our instructors were amazing and let me talk to them about my favorite video games, my favorite music, and the Army as long as I wanted. All topics that my own group is probably sick of hearing of.

Anyways the river trip was amazing. Only 12 more day’s left in the course which is kind of sarce ( see urban dictionary for the definition of sarce (2nd definition)). I love you mom and dad can’t wait to see you!