What is your important place? What river means the most to you?
That’s the question we asked attendees at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow earlier this month when celebrating our partnership with American Rivers, but the answers we received weren’t what we expected. Sure, we expected to hear “Grand Canyon” and “Middle Fork Salmon” and “Nantahala” and “Upper Cherry,” but we never predicted what came next — the stories.
Whether it was the person who welled up as he remembered the first river trip he took with his two kids, the man who laughed while he recounted the days of his high school river adventure, or the woman whose smile crept ever wider as she told us of that icy cold spot she jumps in after long bike rides, we couldn’t help but notice: rivers really do connect us. Whether we think about it daily or not, we have all had an experience that can only exist on the river, and this profound connection to the rivers in our backyard and beyond is a common thread that feeds our collective soul.
While at Outdoor Retailer, we were also reminded of how devastating a river tragedy can be. That’s why now, more than ever, is the time to not only celebrate our rivers, but to stand up and protect them. It’s time to ensure that future generations will get to experience the same bliss of a river experience that we’re all so fortunate to have.
Take a moment to look through all of these important places, to think about what your favorite river is, and what you can do to protect it. And use the hashtag #myimportantplace to share your river stories and photos with us on social media.