By Rob Anderson
Having never guided a raft down a river before, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a ten day trip in the Alaskan bush. I had no idea that I was going to have my mind blown by the Northern Lights, or that I would sleep out under the stars with only a sleeping bag and a rainfly on top of me. Expedition Alaska took me to places that many people only dream of; to a part of Alaska that most Alaskans don’t even get to experience.
Each day, I was lucky enough to have a student on my raft that wanted to row. I took advantage of the energy. I used the time to capture video and images while we were on the water; after all, that was my primary objective on the trip. I was going to be able to make the video I had been dreaming of because I actually had time to get my camera out. I rediscovered a passion for photography and I’m excited to see where this rekindled zeal takes me.
During the course of the first couple of days on the water, I worked to have casual conversation as we moved down the river. Each day, I discovered that students wanted to be on my boat. Our conversation was stimulating, and we had fun. It helped pass the time when we shared embarrassing stories and told silly jokes. There came a time when we gathered four rafts together and shared riddles for nearly an hour. We were a team, a cohort, friends. We laughed together, played together, and worked hard together. Expedition Alaska has bonded me with a group of students that I would have otherwise not interacted with, and I couldn’t be happier.