Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rig to Flip!

One of the more physically challenging things for a river guide to do is taking the time to load and unload the raft every day on a multi-day trip. Especially during the summer in desert southwest as the temperatures rise dramatically as soon as the sun peaks over the rim in the morning.

Securing all the equipment can take an hour or more each morning. At times I would wonder to myself if it was worth it every day to be so meticulous and “rig to flip” as we would often say. 

And after over 40 years of rafting without a flip you would think I would be questioning the effort it takes even more. On the more challenging white water runs it seems obvious that it is worth the effort. 

Even on the smaller rivers and streams the commitment to “rig to flip” is a wise rule to keep. 

Muddy Creek in the San Rafael Swell area of central Utah is no exception.

“Muddy” is a small stream that usually doesn’t have enough water to float unless there was a better than normal snowpack in the nearby mountains and runoff is strong. Most people hike this section of Muddy Creek as it is not usually a floatable stream.

Compared to other streams in the desert southwest, Muddy can almost be considered a beginner run in many ways with just a few challenging sections that I would consider intermediate. 

During a float down Muddy this last season, I “broke” the Rig to Flip rule and took my phone out of my waterproof ammo can and was taking some pictures while floating down the narrowest section of Muddy called “The Chute.” 

 Not paying attention to what was coming I hit a slightly submerged rock and came to an abrupt halt. 

Fortunately, I didn’t fall out of my kayak and was able to quickly recover without losing my phone or anything else in my kayak. It was a very close call. 

In a section not much further down that had a sharp bend in the creek and a large boulder splitting the rapid after the turn, I pulled over to watch others in my group come through. 

It was a busy day on the creek with a lot of people floating the stream and a stand-up paddler came crashing down just after I pulled over and wrapped on the boulder, blocking the preferred left-side run.

Five others came through after the SUP and three out of five kayakers flipped after hitting the trapped SUP board against the boulder. 

Most of them lost personal items that they hadn’t tied in, not expecting to have any issues like flipping.

I view rigging to flip like I view insurance and the importance of creating legal entities in business and investing. 

You can’t go back and change things once a negative situation happens. You can only prepare for the worst, and then go about your activities with an expectation that everything will go well, with the peace of mind that you are prepared and you’re ready if something bad does happen.

In Grand Canyon, Badger Creek Rapid is the first rapid which is approximately eight miles from the starting point at Lees Ferry.

I have great respect for Badger Rapid, as an excellent reminder of the potential for both and exhilarating ride and challenge in Grand Canyon. 

In 1982, our first non-commercial trip as a family, one of my brothers flipped in Badger. This rapid has a nasty hole at the top that can be a bit deceptive if you’re not looking for it in advance. 

One of my cousins hit his knee on a submerged rock when he fell out of the boat and spent the rest of the trip with a very sore knee that made it difficult to hike.

On my fifth Grand Canyon trip in 2010 we had one boat flip and another boat almost flip and throw everyone out. It was like 1982 all over again only there were a lot more people in the water this time.

On the 2010 trip, Badger didn't cause any injuries luckily. We just had a lot of people cold and shaken up. But it did claim a few hats, shoes, and some other personal items because the two boats that had trouble had not “rigged to flip” when it came to their personal gear. 

Just like a good insurance policy, we hope we never have to use it. But if we do, we are so glad we are prepared.

Need help developing a personal plan to live a life of no regrets? Check out my coaching programs at where I bring my 25+ years of personal development and 14+ years of professional coaching experience (Rich Dad Coach/Jack Canfield Success Principles Coach) to help you design your own personal plan for a "Life Well Lived." Or text me at 1-801-410-2266 for a free complimentary 20 minute Skype or Zoom consultation to see if personal coaching is right for you.
(c) DTE Consulting 2019 "Helping You Do The Extraordinary!"

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Creating Memorable Moments

When you look back on your childhood, do you remember the day-to-day routine things you did? Or do you remember most clearly the times when you were on vacation, or other special events spent with family and friends?

For me, I remember the unique and special events we enjoyed as a family like our family vacations, Christmas Day at my grandparent’s house, and other similar events. I can barely recollect the routine of my childhood years. But the memories of times spent with my family camping in the shadow of Mt. Rainer in Washington, canoeing the Bowron Lakes in British Columbia, Canada, rafting the Tuolomne River out of Yosemite in California and many, many more hold very special places for me.

I have three older brothers and for the first time in probably 20 years or more we spent a week rafting together with our families in the summer of 2008. Usually there is something that doesn’t allow for all four of our families to make whatever rafting trip we have planned each year.

That year we decided to make it a more valuable memory by spending one of our evenings in camp gathered together and each brother shared how river rafting teaches life lessons. We also took this time to tell our dad how much we appreciated him and all he has done for us over the years. He turned 80 the following January and was still able to keep up with the rest of us on the river. We made sure to note how there is now a third generation that can guide a raft through world-class whitewater and what a great legacy he’s been able to establish.

Can you put a price tag on that kind of experience? No. But the real question is, “Are YOU making memories with your families and creating the kind of positive legacy that spans generations?” These kinds of opportunities rarely happen by chance. You will be able to create many more significant and lasting memories by planning for them and being determined to make sure they happen. I think it was Stephen R. Covey who said, “No one ever says on their deathbed that they wish they had spent more time at the office.” Step away from the “rat race” once in a while and do something significant and memorable with your family.

Children grow up way too fast. Wouldn’t it be nice in your later years to spend time with your grown children and their own families and reminisce about the great memories you’ve created with them over the years?

I recently read a short story about an older man going through some old papers and journals. He found a journal entry that said, “Spent the day fishing with my son, didn’t catch a thing. What a waste of time.” Then out of curiosity he compared that with a note his son had written on the same day that read, “Spent the day fishing with my dad. Best day of my life.”

Life isn’t really all about the acquisition of things, but the making of memories. If you aren’t creating memories on purpose yet, there’s no better time like the present to begin!

If you need help putting together a life plan that includes intentional planning for memorable moments, check out my website and look into the Life Well Lived Program offered there. Memorable moments rarely happen by default, at least not the ones you want to experience!

(C) DTE Consulting “Helping you Do The Extraordinary!”

Monday, May 6, 2019

Stopping the Leak

White water rafting equipment has evolved over the past 40 years since I started running rivers. One of the significant advancement has been the development of the self-bailing raft. To describe it simply, a self-bailer has a floor that is not water-tight, but instead is secured loosely to the bottom of the boat to allow water to run out, but is also inflated with air to rise up tight against the boat to hold water out.

In my world, I have the old style “bathtub” rafts  that have a sealed floor that must be bailed out whenever too much water get into the boat. The weight of a fully geared 16 foot raft full of water is way too much for one person to maneuver. 

Holding on to that idea of an extremely heavy boat for a minute, a few years ago we attempted a trip on the San Juan River in the 4 Corners region of Utah. The reason I say attempted is because the water was very low when our launch date finally arrived. 

The BLM Ranger who checked us in for the trip suggested it would be a low water run but doable as long as the water didn’t go down any more than it already had. We planned to raft two days to Mexican Hat and then 4 days to the take out at Clay Hills Crossing, just above the point where Lake Powell backs up to the river. 

On the second day while running 8 Foot Rapid one of the boats got hung up mid-rapid on an exposed rock and was really stuck. The surprise for all of us was two of us were able to walk back up on opposite banks and walk out into the rapid from both sides of the river and help get the boat free and through the rapid.

The son Rob who was rowing said that no matter what he did the boat would not respond well and he couldn’t navigate around the rock he hit. We discovered later on in camp that there was a gash in the floor of the boat. This allowed water to flow in at a steady pace and continually make the boat too heavy to maneuver very well.

The most important thing you can do at that point is fix the hole by patching it. This means completely de-rigging the boat and patching it on both the inside and the outside because the floor bears a lot of weight when people are in the boat. 

If we decided it was too much work to de-rig and just keep bailing, it would really end up not working very well if the hole was even just less than the length of dime. Constant bailing by the passengers isn’t fast enough to keep the water out enough to be able to maneuver the boat properly. The floor really must be patched in order to continue the trip.

So we de-rigged the boat at our camp and we were able to get back on our journey. We ended up cutting the trip short at Mexican Hat because the river was just too low to run and we discovered another hole in the floor of a second raft. 

In life, we can find ourselves confronted with negative thoughts and ideas flowing into our minds from others and even from our own internal conversations. Too many of these negative thoughts can really weigh us down and slow our momentum. 

Like a raft, we can try and remove them as they come in and if we have a lot of negative thoughts it’s good to remove them. But wouldn’t it be wise to also put a patch on the “floor” of our minds and improve our ability to repel negative thoughts and eventually no longer even let them in?

There are excellent ways to do this. Affirmations, declarations, vision boards, and more are great tools. 

To learn more about how to remove and repel negative thoughts, check out the programs provided by DTE Consulting at where we help you Do The Extraordinary!