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This year, O.A.R.S. is proud to offer fully-hosted multi-day rafting trips for military service members and veterans on the Green River through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument. The company has six dedicated departures scheduled in May, August and September for up to 25 people per trip. The six-day trips include round-trip airfare to Salt Lake City, transportation to and from the airport to the put-in, five nights of camping, and four days of whitewater rafting on the Green River.
“Rivers connect all of us, and that’s part of the reason river trips are so healing. It’s that deep connection to the people on the journey with you and the wildness of the landscape that surrounds you,” O.A.R.S. Founder and President George Wendt said. “There’s real engagement from the last discussion of the evening to the first cup of coffee and conversation in the morning. There’s human contact, they are building bonds and sharing an adventure.”
This rafting adventure is a unique national park experience that taps into the restorative power of wilderness and offers four days of fun Class III whitewater, scenery that rivals the Grand Canyon, gorgeous side-hikes, comfy beach campsites, hearty and delicious meals prepared by professional river guides, and an opportunity to relax with fellow travel companions.
In 2014, O.A.R.S. hosted a pilot trip for military service members and veterans. Adan Gallegos, one of the trip participants, wrote: “This experience was physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. I felt as if my self-confidence, pride, and trust was building each day that passed. Most activities on and off the river were used as metaphors for daily life experiences in pursuit of individual and group excellence… I experienced courage, brotherhood and a real sense of power and competence while on this event.”
Christopher S. Moore, a participant on a different trip, had this to say about his journey: “Being a wounded warrior I have been on quite a few trips that have been amazing but I have to say there have been none as cleansing of the soul as this trip. I had the opportunity to laugh, cry and let some very serious situations leave my soul for good and it was because of the people, the river, and nature itself.”
O.A.R.S. has opened the application process to U.S. military service members and veterans who have sustained an injury—physical or mental—in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. To learn more and request a spot on a 2016 trip, visit: http://www.oars.com/warriors/.
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