A Recommendation: Death on the river

A professor's op-ed piece discusses a rafting trip where a woman died, and how it strangely made him glad to be alive.

KUSA - May we make a recommendation? This is when Next points you toward something that isn't ours - but is worth your time.

High Country News has a really strong op-ed about summer rafting, written by Andrew Gulliford. He's a history and environmental studies professor at Fort Lewis College.

His article shares his perspective about being involved in a fatal rafting trip last summer. Gulliford's raft hit a submerged tree on the first rapid, on the first day of his rafting trip. The raft flipped, and he was able to get to a log floating nearby. Gulliford walks through every moment after going into the water -- the moments he remembers anyway.

He writes:

In 20 years of river running, I’ve experienced plenty of flips, but this one felt different. I reached the island, removed my lifejacket and helmet and tried to dry off as the sun climbed the cliff. Then one of the couples who had been in the front of our raft appeared, both of them barefoot because the river had ripped their sandals off. We hugged. 

Another woman in his raft wasn't so lucky. His op-ed discusses the odd feeling of being grateful to be alive, when someone else didn't make it.

Ultimately, he wishes safe passage to those who plan on rafting this summer, as the rivers rise from snow-melt.

You can read Gulliford's entire piece here.

Know of something we should see, or read, or do? Let us know with #HeyNext. 

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