When was the last time you completely went off the grid? If your answer was never, you have a thing or two to learn from this week’s #StokeShareWeekend winner. Whitewater rafting guide Erika German has been crushing people into waves for the past 11 years. Rowing a river, sleeping outside, and sitting by a campfire is what she lives for. Her winning photo is a testament to her adventure-seeking, grid-ditching lifestyle.
As an experienced expedition leader with Lakota Guides, Erika is constantly invited to guide whitewater rafting tours all over the United States. She took this photo while on assignment at the Salmon River in Idaho’s rugged Sawtooth Mountains.
Erika ran the Middle Fork and Main Salmon over the course of 12 days. At the helm of a one ton, 13-foot raft, she rowed a ridiculous 200 miles of rough river to show her group that life is worth living on the wild side.
I asked her to describe her trip through the Gem State. Her answer left me contemplating why getting lost is absolutely apposite to a satisfied soul.
“It snowed and rained most of the time but was still a great adventure. These trips are a roller coaster of emotions. Highs and lows. It’s hard being away from my boyfriend and dogs for weeks at a time with no communication to the outside world, but it’s all totally worth it.”
It was the “no communication to the outside world” that stood out to me. It’s at the heart of why we adventure. Disconnecting from what we left behind connects us to what’s in front of us. Do you think Erika would be an in-demand whitewater rafting guide if she was stopping in the middle of the expedition to check her phone? No way!
Obviously, she uses Instagram to tell her story and hell, I’m hoping you’re reading this blog on your phone right now. Technology and storytelling are secondary – an afterthought of a journey well traveled.
Erika wanted to leave you with some words of wisdom, so I’ll shut up and let the master whitewater rafting guide write my conclusion!
“Follow the path less traveled. Disconnect for a while and see how it changes your perspective on the modern world. Realize you don’t need everything you want and learn to live on a simple level. Your life will be more fulfilled with accomplishments this way.”
Follow Erika German on Instagram and learn how to book the Jedi Master for your next whitewater rafting trip!
Want to participate in our photo contest? Get your weekend outdoor, adventure, and action sports photos featured on StokeShare’s Instagram by posting with #StokeShareWeekend. For full details, check out the photo contest rules.