White Water Rafting (Wisconsin Style)

I was recently invited on a rafting day trip and impulsively decided to go. Throughout the experience, I had so many flashbacks to traveling throughout Costa Rica — obviously the landscape didn’t match, but being in the middle of an adventure without knowing many details beforehand (or even during, ha!) brought back terrifying fond memories of what it’s like to live in the moment of first-time experiences. A good reminder, for sure.

After 5 hours of driving north, here are the sleep-deprived, brave souls. All nine of them.

Most of the rafting adventure looked like the image above. We slowly paddled down the Wolf River and drank in the nature sounds and sights.

Then there was a slight drizzle that felt really good in the hot afternoon sun… So I actually said (yes, out loud) something like, “It would be great to get more rain like that.”

So right after I took the photo of these gorgeous pines, it started drizzling… then raining… then pouring. Oops. Guess I got what I wished for.

So really all the photos I took were before this rain storm blinded our path (and made my sunscreen run in my eyes). Above, I am with Heather, a sweet girl I met at the Vineyard church I have been attending.

Right after the rain started was our first rapids, so we were squinting in the downpour and wind, trying to keep the raft afloat (and right side up), and praying we wouldn’t fall out. (Maybe the others weren’t praying about their survival, but I certainly was as we approached the falls, lol. I mean, all you could see was that everyone in front of you had suddenly gone over the edge…)

Then the rain stopped long enough right at the end of the 5 hour “adult lazy river” for me to capture this photo of the toughest falls for extremely brave souls — Don’t worry, Mom, I wasn’t that brave. : )

And a video for your viewing pleasure. This group was heavily drinking as we paddled past them before the first falls, and they had strapped all their rafts together. Here are the hilarious (and most definitely painful) results of inhibited common sense.


Spring Breaks of the Past

I realized this year that it is the first Spring Break since high school that I didn’t turn it into a big trip. I’ll take you through my mental reminisce:

Spring Break 2011

Road Trip: Playa Soraya and to Río Celeste

Adventurous Friends: Katie Zobro and Lisa Hartman

Read about it: Here and here

Yes, it's as gorgeous as it looks. Only even better in real life.

Here we are -- fresh and crispy from the beach hiking to Río Celeste.

Spring Break 2010

Bus Trip to Panama

To Keep Me Company: my very bestest friend Tricia

Read about it: Here and here and here and about the artwork here and about running into other Judson friends here

I checked ''Panama Canal'' off my list of places to go.

While hiking along the beach, we found this weird sphere that had washed on shore. We later found out it was used in the Panama version of the TV show Survivor.

Spring Break 2009

Bus Trip to Playa Montezuma

Friends: Kim VanArtsdalen and Trish

Read about it: Here 

Oh yes, I get that tan... only after 4 straight days in the equatorial sun. LtoR Kim, Trish, Kate

Spring Break 2008

Chicago Experience

Organization: Sonshine Gospel Ministries

Check out their ministry: Here

We went to class every morning to learn about the history of Chicago, and then we had assignments around the city based on what we learned.

We stayed in a house in South Chicago in a neighborhood covered in graffiti.

Spring Break 2007

San José, Costa Rica

Organization: A whole bunch of them…

Here's our team... I know you're thinking, ''That's a dorky sweater, Kate.'' Don't worry, my current sense of fashion agrees with you.

I think this is the moment when I fell in love with the rainforest.

Spring Break 2006

Nassau, Bahamas

Organization: Adventure Learning Center

Check out their ministry: here

We visited orphanages and worked at the Adventure Learning Center with students all week.

We painted houses that overlooked the Atlantis resort. Many families could not afford to even think about going to Atlantis for a day.

Spring Break 2005

Dublin, Ireland


We worked in schools most of the week, putting on plays and answering kids' questions about being Americans.

Ireland is very green and very cold in March.

And while I didn’t go anywhere this year, I accomplished a lot of graduate homework. : ) Besides, it’s fun to imagine where I might go next year…