Have you ever been curious about curiosity? Where it came from?  Why some people have it and some don’t?   Why some people get bored easy?  Ever wonder why some people ask so many questions? Wanting to know something to learn more about the world, is a trait that starts in childhood.  Curiosity is the engine that drives the desire to discover new things. Sadly, some people lose this trait along their life path and end up in a box canyon of the mind.

Luckily, all undammed rivers lead to the ocean and are not boxed in. So when us humans who choose to get in a boat and explore what lies ahead, the scene changes around every bend. Something new is just out of sight, but ready to soon be discovered.

One time, I came around a corner on the Grande Ronde River and saw about 20 elk walking along the shore. As my raft approached, they jumped in the river and swam across it, only a few yards in front of us.  Another time I rounded a bend on the same river, and a  bald eagle swooped down to grab a steelhead, only to  drop it on a sandbar not far from us.  We attempted to get the steelhead, as we were fishing at the time, before it flopped its way back into the water. We had spooked the eagle to save the fish, thinking we would get it for ourselves. But  we were too late. It made its escape, so we really did  save it, despite ourselves.

Another time on the Owyhee River while on a hike, I discovered an unusual cave within a cave. Not only was it a cave in the earth, but it also lead to a hole in the sky.  Features such as this abound in this high desert country.  A big draw to this river is that it has so many fascinating and unusual geologic features, that it is always eye candy to a never-ending source to entice exploration.

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not include some Salmon River curiosities, like the time we camped out under a giant overhanging ledge and were treated to a light show of magnificence grandeur. The thunder bouncing off vertical walls on both sides of the river that climbed over 500 feet above us, and the lightning flashing  the black sky into a quick glimpse of a canyon fantasy land, will never be forgotten.

 Or the time a water ouzel landed on the bow of my driftboat and entranced guests with an eye to eye stare before departing to the river to find a shoreline rock to teeter on its legs like they always do, while  searching for aquatic insects.

To me, one of the biggest values that any river trip has, is that it is a journey through the watery window into the soul of nature.  New horizons at the brink of the unseen, always reveal unknown worlds, once transcended.   Excitement and enthusiasm bound high for those who still hold high levels of  curiosity in their heart.

Rivers are a great place for those who have lost the feeling of curiosity, to find it again. In today’s world, it is too easy for people to work themselves into a dull routine. Complacency with mostly those things that are  familiar and align up with  the  status quo,  destroy the value of uncertainty and change that are at the heart of curiosity.

When it comes to rivers, the old saying; ” it is hard to discover new islands, if you are afraid to lose sight of the shore, ” certainly fits here. Going on a river trip is a great chance to experience life changing events.  I have seen the phenomenal power of a river to drastic effect people’s behavior, too many times, not to appreciate this  innate value to trip participants.  More often than not, the people who started on a river trip were never the same ones who finished it.  The journey allowed for the right amount of  time and was a wonderful  place for such metamorphosis to have its effect.

Butterflies best describe what river rats soon get morphed into. They begin to flit around on an air of lightness and into a carefree direction. Their new wings carry them yet higher into an atmosphere of intoxicating euphoria. Curiosity builds awareness, appreciation, and understanding.  It allows us to have better levels of tolerance for things different from ourselves, be it cultural or natural, and helps facilitate new perspectives to enhance our joy in the world.

To make your world more interesting, you first have to be interested. Curiosity doesn’t just make the world more interesting, it also will make you more interesting.  Your conversations with friends will soon improve, as each new revelation inspired by curiosity will add more spice to what you can share with them.

Curiosity is fueled by mystery. Wanting to know. Wanting to learn. Wanting to discover.  There is no ceiling bounding how much knowledge we can attain, so mystery in the world will always prevail.  It is always one step ahead of knowing. There is no better place to chase that mystery than to embark on a river journey. The more you see, the more you will be able to see.

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     – Alan Cohen

Indeed, rivers are a paradise for the curious. What are you waiting for?

Rivers make good medicine with us, we make good medicine with rivers.

For more river trip information, please go to our website: www.doryfun.com

or (more pics)  Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Riverdoryfun