My First River Trip! – An Update from Soleil

Guess what! It finally happened! I got to go on my first family river trip!

I was so excited!!! THREE WHOLE DAYS DOWN THE DESCHUTES! I had no idea what that meant, but Mama and Daddy, and Pa and Nana, were running around like locos getting ready for it, so that meant it had to be good!

Rafting family

But then….

I was less excited. 

Child Labor 2

Child Labor

The first day was a lot of flat water. Mom just laid there like a dry-bag while Dad and I slugged through it. 

Child Labor w: Dad

And then I had to pee… on the boat. 

Peeing in Boat better

After what felt like forever (Mama says about 20 minutes), I wanted OFF!  “No mas! No mas! Quiero ir al Bounder!” I screamed, but they didn’t listen to me. 

Finally, I just fell asleep and tried to make the nightmare end. 

Soleil sleeping

Soleil sleeping close-up

When I woke up, it was over! We were at camp! Camp is great. Dad set up the tent for me to play in. 

Soleil Tent

I saw ospreys flying over head, and blue herons cooling off in the river. There were deer and even a lonesome coyote. No rattle snakes though. Mama kept thinking she saw one and would JUMP, but it was always just a piece of drift wood. Silly Mama. 

Soleil smiling with Mama and Dino

Mama and Soleil with Dinosaurio

Then I saw the weirdest, wildest creatures I’ve ever seen coming straight down river. They were…

Soleil dirty and confused

..COLLEGE STUDENTS! Not sure what that means, but I want to be one when I grow up. They were wearing costumes and wigs, and hooting and hollering. Mama said they were like a drunken Borg–one mind, too many beers. That prompted Mama and Dada to start talking about how they used to be young once, too. Riiight. Next thing I know they’ll be telling me they had a life before I was born.

College Kids

Then it was time to cook! That’s Pa. He’s the best barbecuer in the world (shhh, don’t tell DAD!) 

Pa Cooking



Camp life

Since everyone was cooking, I thought I’d help out too. I’m a great cook. Pancakes are my specialty. 

Soleil cooking 3

Soleil cooking
After dinner we pretty much went straight to bed. No college students at our camp. 

The next morning, I woke up and ate homemade brownies in bed until my eyes glazed over. 


Mama said it was okay because we were camping. I love camping.

We had coffee and chocolate milk by the river, and I pretended to eat something healthy, but who can eat after five brownies? 

Big breakfast

Pa and Dada

Then it was time to push off on the river again.

Nana pushing the oars

Mama said today there’d be white water, and that would be better than flat water. Reluctantly, I decided to give it another chance. 

Mama and Soleil

Pa pushing the oars

Pa and Nana in that boat

I took this shot of Dad yawning all by myself. Let’s just say I felt his pain. 
Dada Yawning

But then…

I got so excited again!!!! Finally! White Water!!!!! It was AMAZING!!! “Mas! Mas! Mas!” I yelled.

Soleil White Water 2

White Water!

Daddy made Mama and me walk White Horse, the rapid with Oh *Poop* rock in the middle of it, but I got to run the rest. Daddy called me his little thrill seeker and was sure to hit every riffle possible to splash me and mama. Mama just loved that. 

Then I napped on the boat again. Something about the rocking motion just knocks me out. And when I woke up, we were back at camp again! 


Soleil at camp2

I pretended to find a snake and scared the frijoles out of Mama! Ha! Soleil snake

I love playing in the dirt. Mama says neuroscientists recently proved that the healthy bacteria in dirt makes people happy. And that’s why people who are dirt-deficient are sad. But, what I want to know is, what makes neuroscientists so smart? Just ask any 2 year old like me! Wild Soleil

Okay, that’s all folks! Abrazos y Besitos! 



That's all folks



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  1. this photo makes me laugh!!!

  2. Looks like so much fun!

  3. Great blog!!!

  4. Lucky lucky kiddo! What a great life!

  5. What an amazing picture!!! Love it!

  6. “Go Soli, Go Soli….”

  7. Soo , you now how to drive ??

  8. Joy!!

  9. Que felicidad!

  10. “I was born for this bitches!!!”

  11. que bien!!! increible historia de Soleil! me encanto!

  12. Put your hands in the air….like ya just don’t care!

  13. Thats Awesome!!

  14. Mmmmm. Brownies for breakfast! Great pics and great story, Soleil. You’re one tough (and lucky) little girl!

  15. I can eat after five brownies Soleil!

  16. in her blood and soul from long ago….

  17. Love it!

  18. Super cute! I love the Sol posts! And I’m the same with snakes – I jump at everything! XOXO

    • I thought of you while we were on the river. You were a brave mama letting them go without you. Although, when it was all over I felt like maybe I’d over metered the danger-response a bit. Should’ve been a level 2 whereas I allotted a 8.5 🙂 Maybe not being there to inspect every piece of driftwood would’ve been better.

  19. Awww, thanks honey.

  20. She is just so damn cute !!!!

  21. Love this! We recently took our baby on his first river trip in Oregon, too — a 5-day float down the John Day River:

    And Talon wrote his “own” blog on his first sailing adventure, too, and turns out his voice sounds a lot like Soleil 🙂

  22. Love it! Can’t wait til Levi is a little older and can join in on the adventurous side of travel too.

  23. Sol,
    Your dad has been riding the Deschutes since he was just YOUR age – (about three!)
    It’s genetically IN you to love the water and the thrills, Darlin’. See you soon in Mexico and we’ll “play rafting” in the warm ocean! Love Noni.

  24. Little Lava says:

    Aloha! Yes!

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