TAKING THE SCENIC ROUTE Our Rogue Adventure
In July, Chris and I embarked on an adventure-filled rafting trip along the Rogue River in Oregon. As you likely have sensed, we’re the type of people who prefer woods, cabins, and rapids to resorts and beach lounging. It’s not that we don’t enjoy those vacations, but we like a trip that gets us a little out of our comfort zone and into a front row seat with Mother Nature. This vacation provided both. Even if we’d wanted to use our cellphones, we couldn’t have. We were totally off the grid and on the river.
We set out on our three-day journey on the raft just after Independence Day along with four other guided boats in a group of about 15 people. It’s interesting how dynamics change when you don’t have your cellphone to default back to. Because you’re disconnected from the rest of the world, you get to know people really well. You talk face to face and have genuine conversations. There’s no text messaging, so it’s just you, your companions, and nature. We spent three days and two nights on the river, winding through federally protected land and experiencing the intoxicating beauty of this preserved area. The river was breathtaking, full of twists, turns, and gorgeous views. Spring had brought new life, and we saw evidence of this in families of mink, ducks, and geese, and a close-up view of a little deer with its mother. We also saw three bears on our journey. One of our guides is studying to be a wilderness specialist. They take people outside and help them tune in to nature through experiences they wouldn’t have in their everyday life. “Wilderness therapy,” they call it. It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? The practice hinges on the idea that nature can restore and heal us. Being on the river, I feel these concepts at play. You remember to be grateful for life as you consider your own existence in the grand scheme of things. You see fossils and feel gratitude for the people who came before you and appreciated and preserved beautiful areas like this. Of course, as beautiful as the river is, she’s not without her tests. We encountered plenty of rapids, mostly Class III, but there were a few Class IVs that got a little hairy. This part of the journey can be scary, but it also makes you feel alive. There’s a self-rescue aspect to rafting that forces you to overcome your fear. If you fall out, people will try to help you, but, ultimately, you have to help yourself. The guides can only do so much. In our divorce law practice, we are much like the river guides. Like the guides, we are there to protect our clients. We help them navigate the best path through turbulent times. Like the guides, we maneuver clients carefully through the rapids of their divorce and around the rocks, safely to their takeout. But it takes courage for our clients to get out of their comfort zones and exercise their own self-rescues. I’m so grateful we were able to experience this incredible river and get a little out of our comfort zone. It was an amazing trip. It’s good to be home, but, of course, we’re already fantasizing about our next adventure. – Ashley and Chris Bruce 561-810-0170 • 1www.brucepa.com
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